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‘Volunteering helped me to rebuild my life’


KATE Bosley, former chief executive of the Heart of Kent Hospice, has


spoken of her battle to rebuild her life after a serious cycling accident. She told guests at the launch of


Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) Volunteering Scheme how her world was turned upside down two years ago by the accident in Tenerife. The mother-of four was left fighting for her life and unable to continue with her job running the Aylesford-based charity.


Although her memory is badly damaged, Kate, who lives in Weavering, began steadily to re- cover and found that volunteering with RBLI at Aylesford helped her to rebuild her confidence and skills. She said that after the accident “it


was quite clear I wasn’t going to be the Kate Bosley that was Kate Bosley. I have lost some of my sight and get balance problems. The biggest problem I had was social


isolation. I had been a chief execu- tive and now I was at home all day. It was incredibly painful and diffi- cult for me. The biggest thing that happened to me was volunteering.” After an initial as- sessment, Kate was simply asked to travel by bus two days a week to the RBLI, say hello to the staff and catch


the bus home. “Giving me some- where to go in the very early days was important. It gave me some or- ganisational skills,” she said. Her next task, which she enjoyed for six months, was packing jam, be- fore she moved on to working in re- ception and then to her current role


dealing with paperwork.


She said: “It is quite clear I would be sitting at home, depressed and unhappy if I had not done volun- teering with RBLI. I hope it goes two ways, and that I will be able to help them; that it will develop and that I will be able to give more back.” Kate (52) became the hospice’s chief executive in 2007 and raised more than £10,000 for the charity in long distance cycling events. The ac- cident happened during a pre-sea- son cycle training trip in February 2013. She spent two weeks in inten- sive care in Tenerife before being taken to Maidstone Hospital. The cause of accident is a mystery as there were no witnesses and Kate cannot remember it.  Volunteer for the RBLI


18 Downs Mail wins award Campus land


THE Maidstone Legacy Award has been made to the Downs Mail and founder Dennis Fowle at the Celebrate Maidstone gala ambassador din- ner at the Hilton Hotel. Mr Fowle is pictured receiving the award from William Alexander, High Sheriff of Kent. Event chairman Neil Pattison said the 18-year-old Downs Mail was leaving a lasting legacy to benefit Maidstone, especially as a campaigning newspaper. Retired chairman and former editor-in-chief Mr Fowle (pictured, right), now president, was earlier one of eight speakers on Maidstone legacies and explained why there should be a close bond between a town and a respected local newspaper. He tried to build this from 1997 when the Downs Mail circulated to about 12,000 houses in and around Bearsted up to today, with more than 88,000 copies of the four-edition publication reaching out to the Maidstone and Malling boroughs. “I wanted local residents to trust and respect the Downs Mail – to see it as a helpful friend,” he said.


8


is marketed MARKETING has begun for land designated for a medical campus next to the new Kims hospital near Weavering. International property agent JJL is marketing the 2.6-hectare land as a “strategic development site for healthcare, education, life sciences and associated uses” for sale or to let. The Maidstone Medical Campus


was granted planning permission four years ago to complement the first phase of the development near M20 Junction 7 – the Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery (Kims).


46 June 2015 No. 218 News Charity decision


VOLUNTARY Action Maidstone may change its name to reflect the fact it now has many projects throughout Kent. 6


NHS trust in court


STAFF at local hospitals face court proceedings after the death of teacher Frances Cappuccini.


13 Finders to go online


KENT Police has announced it will no longer take in lost property and urged people to in- stead use social media.


16 Council elections


THE Lib Dems put in respectable showing but the Tories added a seat.22-23


Transport concern


RE-ELECTED MP Helen Grant says she is against a park and ride plan for Linton. 24


Comment 32 -33


THE decision to demolish the Russell Hotel has been criticised.


Crime Reports 33


THERE were instances of milk being taken from the front of homes in Maidstone. In an inci- dent in Meadow Walk, CCTV footage was being studied.


Obituaries Parish Councils


34 47


THERE were fire safety concerns relating to wheelie bins in Barm- ing; a plan for a new pavilion was being finalised in Loose.


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