“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die”
The modern Hospice movement was founded by Dame Cicely Saunders with the establishment of St. Christopher’s Hospice in London in 1967. This inspired many people across the country to follow her lead and currently there are over 200 Hospices in the UK providing end of life care to over 200,000 people each year.
Early in 1983 two nurses attended a meeting of the Chester Lions and spoke about their work in caring for patients suffering from cancer. When asked where they were based the nurses explained that they had no base but talked about the idea of a local Hospice.
Under the leadership of Noel Rouse (acting Secretary) the Chester Lions approached local businesses, healthcare and community leaders to see if there was sufficient interest in the idea of a setting up a local Hospice. Following a considerable groundswell of support a community meeting was held on 28th September in Chester Town Hall. It was agreed to set up a working group and committee. At a meeting on 15th November 1983 Vivienne Smith was appointed as Chair of the Hospice Committee.
Hospice History Timelines – From the Beginning
First Public Meeting at Chester Town Hall called by Chester Lions to gauge support for the creation of a local Hospice.
Fundraising begins with the establishment of a Committee to raise a target of £600,000 to buy and equip a new Hospice.
Chester Lions pledge to raise £10,000 towards the Hospice Appeal.
Following the success of the meeting arranged by the Lions in September to promote the Chester Hospice project, Vivienne Smith is appointed as Chair of the Hospice Fundraising Committee with Derek Healiss representing the Chester Lions.
Former Vicarage and grounds at Backford is bought at Auction for £85,000 and the first hospice shop in Northgate Street, Chester opens it’s doors.
By the first AGM on 12th February, an Appeals Office located in Hunter Street was established and raised over £250,000. Architects Lovelock, Mitchell & Partners appointed to design the Hospice.
Hospice appeal reaches its target of £600,000 and in September work commenced at Backford by Joseph Finney & Son. The Bishop of Chester, Dr Michael Baughen, laid the foundation stone of the In-Patient Unit in November.
Hospice Development Trust is formed to attract new funding from the local community and businesses as Hospice launches an appeal for £400,000 to run the Hospice.
The Hospice of the Good Shepherd opens on 6th February and the first patient is welcomed by Matron Mrs Ann Teaney and staff. The Hospice is officially opened by HRH Diana, Princess of Wales, escorted by the Duchess of Westminster, our Patron and watched by many supporters, staff and volunteers.
All 12 beds open in the In-patient Unit (December)
New Home Care, Social work and Macmillian Nurse facilities in the Coach House costing £150,000 opened by Lady Tollemache.
Cheshire Hospices Education founded with St Luke’s Winsford and Easy Cheshire Hospices to provide palliative care education to other caring professionals.
’99’ appeal set up to mark the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the Hospice to raise funds for a new and improved reception area and Day Care.
The inner courtyard was refurbished and opening by Hospice Chaplain and Chief Executive.
Rose Garden opened at the Hospice.
Department of Health Grant of £550,000 used for major refurbishment of Hospice Facilities
The Sheriff of Chester Jane Mercer, chair of the Board of Trustees Dr Virginia Clough, Mayor of Ellesmere Port Nicole Meardon, Duchess of Westminster, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs and CEO of Hospice of the Good Shepherd Margaret Wright at the opening of the Hospice of the Good Shepherd’s new Living Well Centre.
The Hospice appoints Robert Mee as the new Chairman of Trustees.