Bristol's hospice marks 35 years of proud service
NURSES from the past and present were among supporters of St Peter's Hospice who gathered to celebrate the start of the charity's 35th anniversary year.
The city's hospice charity started seeing its first patients in 1978 and in that time has supported 250,000 people and their families.
And on Friday people who have been supported by the charity, those who have benefited from its work and volunteers joined with others who have worked at the hospice over the 35 years to mark its landmark anniversary.
St Peter's Hospice was formed after surgeon Herbert Bourns, his wife Joan and solicitor Andrew Urquhart set about canvassing support from the medical profession and the community for an organisation to support people with cancer and other incurable illnesses.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Fundraising started in the 1970s and in 1978 nurses started working from Lawrence Hill clinic.
The original hospice in Knowle followed in 1980, with bedding and other items donated by supporters.
In 1995 the first services were set up in Brentry, initially from temporary buildings and in 1998 the new purpose-built hospice opened, where all inpatient and day hospice services are now based.
The first community nurse, Olive Martell, joined the celebrations at the Brentry hospice on Friday along with fellow original community nurse Carole Jenkins and the inpatient nurse who admitted the first inpatient at Knowle, Eileen Jenkins.
They helped chief executive Simon Caraffi and current nurses, including senior inpatient ward manager Jan Little – who has worked at the hospice for 34 of its 35 years – to cut a special cake to mark the occasion.
Mrs Martell, 78, said: "It is very gratifying to know that something started so small is now so hugely professional – from tiny acorns mighty trees grow, I think that is more or less what has happened here. We never envisaged that we would get this big.
"When we started people were lovely and donated bedding. We would sit in Mrs Bourns' kitchen stuffing pillows and it is just crazy how it has evolved.
"Joan Bourns would be absolutely thrilled – she and Andrew Urquhart were the driving forces, he used to say something about her being the tail that wagged the dog. They were a very strong team."
Chairman of the charity and son of the founders, Robert Bourns, remembers being roped in to pick up second-hand mattresses for the hospice while home from university.
The lawyer said: "The charity's longevity speaks of long-term commitment and seems to be going from strength to strength.
"It connected very well with the community and it is an organisation that depends on that.
"I think it is fantastic it has achieved 35 years."
George Ray, 21, who was supported by the hospice when his mother died when he was 17, sang a moving song he wrote about his feelings at the time with the support of the St Peter's music therapist Jane Lings, during the event which was also attended by Lord Mayor of Bristol Peter Main.
St Peter's Hospice will be holding a celebratory event to mark its 35th anniversary at Colston Hall in June.
â The Post is helping St Peter's Hospice mark its 35th anniversary by featuring the stories of 35 people who have been involved with the charity in that time.
Anyone interested in finding out more information, or to support its work, visit www.stpetershospice.org. uk or call 0117 915 9400.