THE chairman of Bolton Hospice has stepped down after six years in the role.

Graham Yardley will be replaced by Judith Bromley, who has been a trustee at the hospice since 2006.

A well-known businessman, Mr Yardley was the finance director at the Georgia Pacific factory in Middlebrook and first became involved in Bolton Hospice in the mid-1990s.

After serving as a member of the fundraising committee in 2001, Mr Yardley became a trustee in 2004 and chairman in 2007.

Among his most significant achievements were the acquisition of Giles House which has enabled Bolton Hospice to increase its number of beds by 20 per cent.

He said: “I have the highest regard for the outstanding quality of our staff and volunteers.

“I have been constantly amazed at the numbers who have remained as volunteers since the hospice opened in 1992 — such dedication is outstanding. I am delighted that Judith has agreed to become the new chairman.

“She has great energy and intellect but more importantly is a very caring person and will serve the people of Bolton well.”

Mrs Bromley, a partner at Russell and Russell, Wood Street, Bolton, said: “I am extremely proud and honoured to be appointed as the new chairman.

“The hospice has a special place in the heart of the people of Bolton who support all the hospice does through volunteering and fundraising to enable us to provide the wonderful facilities we have here.

“As a Bolton girl born and bred, attending school here, having a business here and living here all my life, I am eager to maintain that special bond and to help make the hospice the best it can be.”

She has worked as a volunteer on the hospice’s inpatient unit and in the bereavement support team.

Mr Yardley will remain a trustee of Bolton Hospice and intends to stay involved in the charity.