Education Staff

Education and professional development team:

Donna Jones, Head of Education and Learning

Read  Donna’s biography



Lucy Gallagher, Education and Learning Facilitator

Read Lucy Gallagher biography



Katherine Smith – Education and Learning Facilitator




Karl Gardner – Education Administrator and Learning Support Assistant




Beckie Stewart, Administrator

Beckie has been working in administration for over 15 years in various sectors, including advertising and marketing, architectural and logistics.  She joined St Richards as Education Administrator in June 2009.  Contact: [email protected]


The education team provides a wealth of many years’ experience with a variety of clinical, managerial and administrative backgrounds with palliative and end of life care at the heart of that experience.  With the consolidation of the skills and knowledge they hold they are able to facilitate a constructive and meaningful education experience to enhance professional development across many roles.

Dr Nicky Wilderspin, Medical Director and Consultant in Palliative Medicine is an instrumental supporter of education programs within the department as well Debbie Westwood, Care Director who has actively shaped the ECHO model at St Richard’s Hospice and currently leads on the project.

Dr Nicola WilderspinDr. Nicky Wilderspin, Medical Director and Consultant in Palliative Medicine




Debbie Westwood, Care Director.




For information and details of signing up to the ECHO program please contact the education team on [email protected] 

With the ethos of the Hospice being that every member of staff is an expert in their dedicated area of palliative and end of life care, delivery of specialist education and training is supported from those experts within the hospice community.


Sarah Popplestone-Helm - Head of Family Support Services

Sarah Popplestone-Helm, Head of Family Support Services

Sarah has managed the Family Support Service at St Richard’s since 2007. Qualifying as a Social Worker in 1984 and passionate about support for the families and carers of the dying, her focus has been hospice psychosocial palliative care. Her specialist area is support for children and young people and she has spent many years developing and running support services for patients and their families.

Sarah gained qualifications in adult education and supports the hospice education department to deliver a wide variety of internal and external courses.


Ingrid Walden, Counsellor

In addition, Ingrid is also based in the Family Support Team and has a background in nursing, mental health support, the elderly and carer service provision, prior to qualifying as a BACP accredited counsellor. She has a range of skills and training qualifications including adult teacher training and supervision skills.

Ingrid provides an education resource across the hospice for psychological themed teaching.