Eamonn O’Neal, chief executive of St Ann’s Hospice, based in Stockport and Salford, has been chosen by the Queen as the next High Sheriff of Greater Manchester. He succeeds Mark Adlestone OBE DL, and will hold office for 12 months. Previously he was managing editor and columnist at the Manchester Evening News for eight years following a successful career at Granada television and BBC radio. He said: “It’s a huge honour to be chosen as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester. I also regard this Royal appointment as recognition of the great work done by St Ann’s Hospice in looking after the communities of Greater Manchester for many years. St Ann’s is one of the oldest and largest hospices in the country and we’re about to celebrate our 50th anniversary.
“The role of High Sheriff gives me the opportunity to connect and engage with the business communities across the county and perhaps enter into dialogues with business leaders about how a merging of interests of commercial and charity organisations can benefit everyone. St Ann’s has a turnover of between £11 – 12 million and without any statutory funding, that presents challenges. Around one-third of our money comes from contracts with local NHS Commission Groups and we must raise the rest.
“Planning for sustainable growth has always been a challenge in this sector and relying on donations, legacies and other voluntary income can be precarious. So it requires excellent leadership, and at St Ann’s we have the best senior leadership team in the sector. I’m hoping that the role of High Sheriff will help to open up avenues within the business world that will help to nurture a collaborative approach that will help blur cross-sector boundaries.”