Five minutes with Goetz Eggelhoefer

Tuesday 05 Jul 2022

There are a diverse range of roles within Jersey Hospice Care. To give you an insight into what we do, here we spend five minutes with Goetz Eggelhoefer, Chairman at Jersey Hospice Care 

Why did you want to take on the role of Chair of Hospice?
I have supported Hospice for some years since moving to Jersey from Singapore in 2015. But the truth is that I did not originally apply for the role of Chairman; I applied to become a Trustee of Hospice. It was during an initial interview with Julie Coward, the outgoing Chair, that the topic of my past experience with Parivaar, a children’s charity in India, and Just-A-Drop, a UK-based Water charity, came up. Julie felt that I have a few transferrable skills that might be put to good use as Chairman of JHC. It is thanks to Julie’s early encouragement that I put myself forward as a candidate for the role of Chairman.

What do you hope to achieve during your Chairmanship?
There are two areas that require careful attention. The first priority is to recover from the blow that the pandemic has delivered to our financial position. Hospice relies almost entirely on the enormous generosity of islanders and legacies from the families of former patients. For obvious reasons, our ability to raise funds during the pandemic was severely restricted. Nevertheless, the Board and the Executive team were in full agreement that, while some services were forced to close as part of the measures taken to counteract the spread of Covid19, the core palliative care in Hospice and at home should continue uninterrupted. This has inevitably meant that Hospice has been running at about a £2 million deficit per annum throughout 2020 and 2021. This funding gap needs to be filled over the next 3 years and that must surely be my top priority.

The second priority will be to help address staffing at Hospice. In line with so many other businesses operating in a post-pandemic, post-Brexit world, recruitment in all areas of the organisation is an ongoing challenge and something necessary to address to meet the growing needs of end-of-life care in the future.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Some of the favourite pieces of advice that I have received, and which I now regularly relate to my adult sons, include:
“Don’t raise your voice; find a better argument.” (Desmond Tutu)
“The world is changed by your example, not your opinion”. (Paulo Coelho)
“Pain/anger that is not transformed, is transmitted” (David Brooks)
“Keep looking forward. Don’t look back. You are not going that way.” (C.S. Lewis)

Take your pick.

Which is your favourite part of the island?

The obvious answer is that my home near Corbiere lighthouse is my favourite part of the island. But in my leisure time I like to paraglide and there is something truly magical about flying the length of the North Coast on a fine sunny day with a group of friends. We are able to enjoy, from a very unique perspective, the beauty and majesty of that rugged piece of coast-line.

Tea or coffee?
Tea…all day long.

Favourite ice cream flavour?
Hmmm…it is hard to beat plain vanilla. Jersey ice cream, of course.

Book or Kindle?

Kindle. My wife, Fiona, is a book-worm. Her books take up all the bookshelves in our home.

Favourite film?

Schindler’s List. I remember seeing it for the first time with my wife, Fiona, at the cinema. At the end of the film you could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium. Perhaps because I am German, the film was profoundly moving for me.

Historical figure you’d most like to meet and why?

Leonardo da Vinci. While living in Singapore I had the opportunity to visit an exhibition of his work. To that point, like so many people, my appreciation for Leonardo da Vinci stemmed largely from his paintings and sculpture. And yet he was also an accomplished poet, anatomist, architect, civil engineer and inventor. As a modern day paraglider, I marvel at his 15th century observations of flight. There was nothing in life that didn’t trigger his insatiable appetite to learn and set his hyper-inquisitive mind to race towards a better understanding of the mechanics of the world within which he lived. His legacy is extraordinary.