East Cheshire Hospice in Macclesfield will be 25-years old this year. It cares for terminally-ill patients throughoutEast Cheshirefrom Poynton to Congleton and from Knutsford to Buxton. A former chairman of the trustees and Over Peover resident, Roger Payne, aims to publish a book tracing the origins of this remarkable, caring facility.
“We know the first patient was treated at the hospice in February 1988 and the formal opening took place in May of that year,” Roger told us.
“Sadly, the hospice hasn’t kept accurate records of how it was set up but I’d like to know the key people involved and whose idea it was in the first place to have a hospice serving theEast Cheshirearea.”
Roger, (70) a retired businessman, still has close links with the hospice in his role as a volunteer. Wife Diana also helps out as a volunteer on the reception.
His aim now is to publish a book during 2013 chronicling the history of a hospice that each year cares for 300 in-patients in its main ward with 3,000 day-care visits to its Sunflower Centre. And he has asked for the help of InCheshire and Prestbury Living magazines. He is appealing to readers for help with information.
“I’m looking for any old photographs and anecdotes so I can put together a properly organised history. The information we have at the moment is patchy but I’m sure the public can help with a lot the detail.”
“There are three reasons I’m doing the book – to celebrate the 25th anniversary; to recognise the people whose enthusiasm and imagination created the hospice before we lose touch with them; and if it’s done well it should be a fundraising item for the hospice.
The hospice movement was set up by a lady called Cicely Saunders who recognised that hospitals which were caring for the sick and dying required a different set of skills known as palliative care.
“In addition, hospices provide support for families and carers and an important thing to consider is that a third of patients actually return home, so it’s not just a one-way street.
“At our Sunflower Centre, patients receive treatments and therapies ranging from therapeutic massages to baths and hair care.”
Roger has established that the official opening was performed by Sir Nicholas Winterton and his wife Ann, the MPs for Macclesfield and Congleton respectively at the time.
The Princess Royal also visited East Cheshire Hospice several years ago while ICI Pharmaceuticals gave £50,000 towards the setting up the hospice. The company, now known as AstraZeneca, has continued to support the charity throughout its history.
“At this stage I cannot tell you what format the book will be in or how many pages. To a great degree it depends on your readers.”
To contact Roger with any information please call him on 01625 861330 or 07711 833362 or email email@example.com
· Supported by over five hundred local volunteers, the hospice receives less than 23% of its annual costs from government and so has to fundraise almost £6,000 every single day of the year simply to maintain its current service.