Staff at independent Suffolk charity, St Elizabeth Hospice, have paid tribute to the co-founder of the hospice, former colleague and friend, Terry Mott who died aged 85-years-old on Wednesday 1 September.

Living near Woodbridge with his wife Elizabeth, with whom he had four children, Terry was a real community champion. 

Alongside Nick Ridley, Terry was a driving force in the 1980s, alongside the local community, which saw the creation of St Elizabeth Hospice in 1989.

Courtesy of his clinical work, thousands of people from across the region have received healthcare support directly from his care as well as through his work in establishing the hospice, which each year delivers care to over 3,000 patients and their families.

Born in Woolwich, London, Terry was a former consultant radiotherapist and oncologist at Ipswich Hospital in a career that spanned many years, all the while guided by his priority to use his medical knowledge to help those suffering from cancer.

St Elizabeth Hospice Chief Executive Officer, Judi Newman, said: “The whole hospice family is saddened to hear of Terry’s passing and we all send our deepest sympathies to his family.

“Terry played a phenomenal role in helping establish the hospice. His passion for supporting and caring for others can be seen every day at the hospice and he leaves a lasting legacy that has touched the lives of so many already and will continue to help many more for years to come.” 

Terry was a trustee of the hospice until he retired from the Board in April 2008 when he became Vice President and maintained his support and interest in the hospice, including attending the hospice’s 30th-anniversary celebrations in November 2019.  

Verity Jolly, Director of Patient Services at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “I have had the pleasure of knowing Terry from the opening of the hospice. I remember fondly the weekends when I was the Ward Sister and he came in to see patients.  When I think of Terry I think of his commitment and sense of humour.”

Ian Turner, Chairman of St Elizabeth Hospice’s Board of Trustees, said: “To the end of their remarkable lives, both Terry and Nick Ridley never once relinquished their enthusiasm and support for St Elizabeth Hospice. They both had the foresight and intuition to encourage, advise and prompt the Board without ever interfering.

“Despite his failing health, as our Vice President, Terry maintained a sharp and keen interest in the hospice that he played such a massive part in founding and he will be very sadly missed.”

Sue Tunaley, Head of Executive Office at St Elizabeth Hospice, added: “Terry was my late mother’s oncologist for many years, eventually referring her to the hospice. I will always remember him with great affection, on a personal level for the care he gave my mother and as the founding father of St Elizabeth Hospice.  

Chris Wiltshire, who worked alongside Terry for 15 years as an Oncology Consultant at Ipswich Hospital, said: “Without Terry having the courage to come to Ipswich in the early 1970s, I am not convinced we would have retained a specialist oncology unit at Ipswich Hospital. His single-minded approach ensured that the unit had some of the most up-to-date equipment in the country.

“The superb St Elizabeth Hospice we see today is also a testament to his passionate and dogged perseverance to see an uncompromisingly top rate symptom and continuing care for East Suffolk. It is a measure of his profound humanity that he always wanted the best care for his patients and their families.

“Terry also had a tremendous and rather unique sense of humour which endeared him most people. It kept us both sane in our highly demanding specialty! His obvious integrity inspired both colleagues and patients alike as did his uncompromising determination not to accept the second rate.

“Terry leaves an invaluable legacy at Ipswich Hospital. However, to the end of his life, I suspect it was achieving the hospice that meant the world to him.”

William Barnes, a member of St Elizabeth Hospice’s Board of Trustees, said: “Terry Mott really was the driving force behind the creation of St Elizabeth Hospice, facilitating the land being made available and playing a key role in bringing together the team that raised the funds to finance not only the building but the resources to get operations underway.  

“As a Trustee for many years, he was always coming up with ideas for developing services and raising funds. His gentle sense of humour and his infectious enthusiasm were constantly in evidence while he was dealing with patients, staff and supporters. We all owe so much to him for the tremendous contribution that the Hospice is now able to make to our community. It is a lasting testament to a very special man.”