Hospice UK and the Dying Matters campaign are deeply saddened to hear today that Tony Bonser has died.
Tony was a central figure in the success of the Dying Matters campaign during his time as a trustee of the National Council for Palliative Care, before its merger with Hospice UK in 2017. Tony acted as the North West champion for the campaign from 2011 until 2019, working with organisations in the area to promote high standards of End of Life Care.
He also served as a trustee for St Catherine's Hospice for many years, for which he received the rare League of Mercy medal last year.
Dying Matters because I think the best thing we can possibly do for anyone is help them to die in the way, in the place and surrounded by the people who are important to them.
His passion for hospice, palliative and end of life care came from the saddest of circumstances. His son, Neil, tragically died at the age of 35 after being diagnosed with a sarcoma.
Tony explained why this led to his devotion to improving end of life care. "After Neil's death, it was important to us that we worked to make his story known, and especially to improve communication for those who needed palliative and end of life care.
"We are both delighted that St Catherine's Hospice have given us that opportunity, and also that we are able, through the hospice, to help improve care for those in the area Neil loved so much."
"Why Dying Matters to me"
In 2011, Tony spoke to Dying Matters about how his experiences shaped his drive to make things better for other people at the end of life.
Tony was an inspirational figure for the hospice and end of life care community. His work with St Catherine's Hospice made an enormous difference to his local community.
Dying Matters will always be grateful to him for his energy, enthusiasm, and passion for making sure people talk openly about death, dying and grief. He leaves behind an incredible legacy and we're deeply saddened to hear this news.