Education Staff

Education and professional development team:

Donna Jones, Head of Education and Learning




Helen Corner, Education and learning facilitator

Helen qualified as a nurse in 1980 (Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps) and has extensive nursing experience working in both the NHS and the independent sector. Helen has a background which includes District Nursing, Senior Nursing Management and End of Life Care as well as previously running her own Arts and Health Company.

In her previous post within a hospice, Helen was part of the care services senior management team and was involved in many aspects of clinical care including policy development, health and safety, project management, maintaining standards and quality of care, providing expert clinical advice and support to junior members of staff, teaching and mentoring, recruitment, reviewing services and the Acting Manager for the Hospice at Home service.

Helen has also worked as part of the National Gold Standards Framework Team as a Clinical Associate working on the Care Homes, Primary Care and Acute Hospital Programme.

Using the arts and creativity Helen is passionate about how we educate, train and facilitate learning for health and social care professionals and artists working in health care settings as well as raising awareness of death, dying, loss and bereavement across different settings.

Having recently joined the education team as the Education and Learning Facilitator, Helen is passionate that care should be of a high standard, maintains quality and is delivered with compassion and dignity to the patient, patient’s family and wider community.

Katherine Smith – Education and Learning Facilitator




Pegeen Fisher, Clinical Skills 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:


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 – Click here

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.




Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.