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All the best: Hospice boss Heather Weir's favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 43-year-old is the new chief executive of the Northern Ireland Hospice. She lives in the village of Connor, Co Antrim, with her husband Alex and their son James (18).

My best moment

Probably the birth of my son, but that would be followed by recently being handed a cheque for the Children’s Hospice. It was a substantial amount from a lady who lives in Northern Ireland and it took my breath away. It was very humbling that someone could be so selfless.

My best way to relax

Standing on the 22-yard line at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast with family and friends, guldering at the officials for their bad refereeing — I’m a mad Ulster Rugby fan.

My best job

I’ve only been in this post for a couple of months now but I am loving it. I trained as a nurse and first came to the hospice as a student in 1999 and held nearly every nursing role in the place. I’ve returned to friends here, so there are plenty of people who remember me from back in the day.

My best bit of advice

My mum said: “Remember to allow others to play to their strengths and remember the whole world wants you to succeed.” I remember that one when I’m practising positivity.

There’s another bit of advice that I give to my son when he’s playing rugby: “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’.”

My best song

This has got to be Beautiful Day by U2. When it came on the radio in the car, James and I used to roll down the windows and started singing along at the top of our voices.

My best gift

My iPad, though it’s probably my worst gift, too. My husband gave it to me as a graduation present for finishing my Master’s degree. I bring it everywhere with me and I’m addicted to it.

My best achievement

For me it’s the new hospice building. A few years ago I was director of nursing here and I was involved in designing it. Coming into this role and seeing the vision being realised on-site is incredible. I remember going through data sheets of plug points and sink points, and hopefully these things will be a reality this year. It’s wonderful to think that this building will be here for centuries to come and that it’s been designed for the people in Northern Ireland that need it.

My best buy

My first car when I was a student. It was a white Volkswagen Polo that cost £500 and had a leaky back window so my feet were  constantly in a puddle of water, but it gave me independence.

My best film

There are lots to choose from but I love Chocolat, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. I’m a sucker for romance and a sucker for chocolate. I do love a rom-com.

My best book

Again it’s hard to choose but two have stood out. One that had a profound effect on me last year was Philomena, by Martin Sixsmith (right). The other is the book I’m currently reading,  is called Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

  • The NI Hospice still needs £1.9m to complete the rebuild of the adult hospice. To make a donation, visit or call the fundraising team on tel: 028 9078 1836

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