WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN ART?
My name is Roger Mawle and I am very proud to have recently been appointed as a Trustee of the Anne Robson Trust. I work in the business world so, together with the other trustees, I have mainly been helping us think through how we can set the organisation up to grow sustainably so that the wonderful Butterfly Volunteers can have a positive impact on as many lives as possible across the country.
WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU TO THE ANNE ROBSON TRUST?
I was speaking with Liz’s brother Andrew, explaining my interest in social care, particularly amongst the elderly, and my desire to see as many people as possible given the best care possible as they near the end of their lives. When Andrew then told me the Robson family story and the amazing work that Liz was doing with ART I knew I wanted to get involved. And then when I first met Liz and she shared her vision for the charity, as well as some of the moving feedback from people who had benefitted from the work of the Butterfly Volunteers, I was hooked.
WHAT IMPACT DO YOU FEEL ART MAKES?
ART brings humanity, dignity, love and care into really tough situations. It serves everyone: patients can be comforted in their final hours, knowing that they are not alone. Family members can be supported and given a break in this most turbulent and exhausting time. Our wonderful NHS staff can be reassured that their patients are receiving high quality compassionate care in their final days and hours of life, even when they themselves are not able to provide it due to their enormous workload. And finally the volunteers- what wonderful gifted and generous people. Whilst they give a lot, our research suggests that they find their role deeply fulfilling and worthwhile. What better way to spend one’s time?
WHY IS TALKING ABOUT DEATH & DYING IMPORTANT TO YOU?
I have a curious relationship with death. My dad tragically committed suicide when I was 2 years old. This left me a little de-sensitised to death and I never really thought about the process of dying. Yet when my wonderful mum fell very ill a couple of years ago it brought up a lot of questions, not so much about what happens when we die (that’s a whole other thing!!) but more about how we, as a society treat each other when we are at our most vulnerable. My mum made a brilliant recovery and is still going strong I am pleased to say, but those hours spent at the bedside changed me. Death is the only certainty in life. As a society we seem to be in denial about this. So I believe it’s time for us to get educated, get ready, and get real about it.
WHO IS YOUR INSPIRATION IN LIFE AND WHY?
Aside from my immediate family, the person who comes to mind is my English teacher, Mr Mackie. He was wildly eccentric, deeply caring and wonderfully inspiring. A teacher in a small school in the countryside, I’m sure he could have done many grand and impressive things that society at large would have celebrated him for. But instead he chose to pour himself into the development of the hundreds of children who passed through the school during his tenure. He taught me manners, he taught me my place in the world and he taught me how important it is to always carry a handkerchief.
MARMITE – LOVE IT OR HATE IT?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK, TV SHOW OR MOVIE?
Without wanting to sound pious, I genuinely love the bible. Drama, love, rebellion, personal sacrifice, wisdom, poetry… I could go on
BEST CHEESEY JOKE….
“What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror?”