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Willen Hospice seeks your memories to mark its 40th anniversary

WILLEN Hospice is looking to create a lasting collection of memories and photographs to mark its 40th anniversary… and it needs your help.  

The brainchild of two local ladies, Dr Marjorie Reid and District Nurse Dorothy Jell, the charity opened its doors to patients in 1981. It remains the only hospice for adults in the local area and has become a much-loved part of the community.  

Chief executive Peta Wilkinson is calling on people to share their Willen story. “We are lucky to hear so many lovely comments about how we have cared for family members and friends with such compassion over the years,” she says.

Peta Wilkinson

“As we mark our special milestone, we would like to hear some of the untold stories about Willen. Did we do something extraordinary for your loved one? Maybe you worked at the hospice during tough times and found innovative ways to care over adversity? Were you involved in a Hospice ‘first’?

“If you have any interesting memories, we would love to hear from you.”

The hospice team has a number of old photographs, including those of Diana, Princess of Wales and Princess Margaret, Duchess of Kent, when they visited in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as many of fundraisers, staff members and volunteers who have made a difference during the last four decades. 

Diana, Princess of Wales, pictured on her visit to Willen Hospice in 1986.

But they are hoping that local people can help to fill in some gaps to tell the story of its history so far, which has only been possible thanks to the support of the community. 

“Our nurses are very special people and we know they have gone over and above on countless occasions,” says Peta. “For example, when we turned our gardens into a beach, complete with a pantomime donkey, to make a patient’s last wish come true, and the numerous weddings they have held to ensure families can be together for such a special occasion.

“We would love to hear more of these stories.”

Willen Hospice in 1979.

Willen Hospice is looking to use the memories to create a special collection that will displayed online and in hard copy for future generations. If you can help, contact marketing@willen-hospice.org.uk or call 07538 836106 or 01908 663636. 

Find out more about the other ways the Hospice will be marking its special anniversary at www.willen-hospice.org.uk 

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