LETTERS From Carol and Bob Bridgestock, Lake:
The Island, our Island, you will be aware, is still in shock at the news of Karen Eeles’s departure.
Now we hear more unbelievable news as to what is happening with the other members of the very successful hospice fundraising team.
This news was one of those truly unbelievable moments when one thinks one must have heard wrong.
Those small ripples have grown into mountainous waves across the Island today and the whole Island is in disbelief.
The upset and distress this decision has caused will be felt by the hospice and its patients for a long time to come, I fear.
Karen, we know, for over a decade has worked tirelessly fundraising for the hospice. We’ve been there, watched her going far beyond the extra mile, along with her team.
We have seen her/them laugh and cry with families while also taking the time to cajole others; and we’ve all been happily hooked to fund-raise for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.
Recent events speak volumes about the lack of care for those paid or unpaid volunteers in the fundraising team.
This news has not only torn at the heartstrings of the community, both young and old, who happily roll up their sleeves, going out of their way, day after day to support the hospice.
What next? Are we going to see our beloved sunflower disappear?
We have seen this brutal form of restructuring in business etc, and the result is always the same, the services to the public become reduced and, in some cases, totally inadequate.
Are you really going to let that happen to our hospice? The biggest loser here has got to be our community.
As well as supporting the EMH, we, as authors, also support other hospices and see how these are managed.
Because of this, our decision has been somewhat easier. We have totally lost faith in the management team at the EMH with regard to their fundraising and so, sadly, our support will cease forthwith.
This is a very sad time for the Island. I close by saying from the heart a very big thank you to Karen and her wonderful team. Your gallant efforts have been appreciated very much by us both, and the residents of the IW.
From Brian Greening, Newport:
Questions asked: I am sure I speak for many other Islanders when I say how sorry I was to see Karen Eeles is to cease working for the hospice.
Over the past 11 years, she has worked tirelessly, often, I feel sure, undertaking work and hours way beyond her terms of reference.
We know the hospice has to be run on firm financial lines but it should be remembered it is an establishment close to the heart of all Islanders and many of us get to know the staff.
To see Karen and, it appears, others leaving under this restructuring is very sad and might have repercussions way beyond a few thousand pounds.
The practice of getting rid of staff under the pretext their job no longer exists and then offering a similar position at a reduced salary was something I encountered in the engineering industry years ago and I was grateful for the trade unions at the time to fight it on my behalf. Sadly, I doubt if Karen has a shop steward to fight her case.
On the assumption that this is all being done under the guise of greater efficiency and a saving of money two questions come to mind.
1. What is the difference between a fund-raising manager and a head of income generation?
2. Did these cost savings reach as far as the salary of those in senior positions like chief executive?
From Karen Spiers, Blackwater:
Tears shed: I have been a volunteer for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice for over five years now.
I have worked under Karen Eeles and her team and enjoyed every single minute of it.
Raising money is not an easy thing to do, but having a good team and great leader is paramount.
Only those who roll up their sleeves on a daily basis could begin to understand the efforts the fundraisers put into their daily tasks.
A lot of tears have been shed and will continue to flow because someone thinks they have a bright idea for the future.
The only thing that’s happened is that a bright light that shone over the hospice has been dimmed.
In my opinion, many businesses here on the Island will now become unavailable to help out or run major fundraising events.
Why try mending something that isn’t broken?
From J. Roberts, Lake:
Who’s next?: I would like to express my disgust at the way Karen Eeles has been treated by the executive director and trustees of the hospice.
Karen has gone above and beyond in her role of fundraiser. She is the face of the hospice.
Karen is liked and respected by everyone that knows her, the way she has been treated is appalling. If she wasn’t any good at her job she wouldn’t have lasted 12 years.
I suppose the nurses will be next in this shake up, more money could be saved by cutting some of the top wages, not the ones who do the work or raise the funds
From Patricia Dow, Ryde:
Face of EMH: What an appalling way to treat Karen Eeles. I fear the powers that be will live to regret their decision when income starts going down.
I met Karen through my Tea at Three events and was bowled over by her enthusiasm, hard work and lovely way with people.
She was the face of EMH and I will miss her smiling face in the County Press most weeks.