Hi I'm Phil.

Since 2013 I have been involved with Hospices of Hope, first in my capacity as British Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova and, second, as a Trustee since 2016. 

I first came across HoH shortly after my arrival in Moldova when Hospices of Hope’s Country Manager in Moldova, John McKellar, called on me to explain the work of Hospice Angelus (HoH’s partner in Moldova), the terrible lack of palliative care in the country and that he would welcome my support and the visibility that my position could lend.  He also invited me to the annual charity ball in May 2013 at which I met Graham Perolls.  We soon discovered that we both came from Dartford and one of my primary school teachers was a long-time friend of his! 

Over the next three years I visited Hospice Angelus office, went out on a visit with Hospice doctors to a patient in her home, participated in the annual fund-raising charity dinners (including one year modelling a Barbour jacket worn by Daniel Craig in ‘Skyfall’ which went for a thousand euros!) and put John and his eventual successor, Raluca, in touch with other UK charities working in Moldova so that they could use one another’s networks and help each other.

As part of HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2014, I had the honour of presenting John McKellar with the British Empire Medal for his services to charitable work and to the community. The British Empire Medal is awarded for achievement or contribution of a very “hands on” service to the community in a local geographical area.  Which is exactly what John had done for the previous four years.  John could have waited to have been presented with the medal by HM The Queen or HRH The Prince of Wales in London.  However, he was keen to have the ceremony in Moldova, so I was the next best thing! We did it one evening at my Residence and invited local media along too as well as other members of the small British community, Hospice Angelus colleagues and friends of John.  It was a very special moment and recognised not only John’s amazing efforts over the previous four years, but of course the amazingly dedicated team around him.

‘Incredible’ is an over-used word.  But it’s a completely apt description of the dedication shown every day by Hospices of Hope staff and their partner organisations in South Eastern Europe: they do an incredible job.