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Pendleside Hospice turns 30

Author: Alan Simpson
07 March 2018

Pendleside Hospice in Burley is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. We take a look at the hospice’s history and how they will be commemorating three decades of hospice care.

Hospice Care for Burnley and Pendle as it was first known came after initial prompting from the Burnley Council of Churches and the Burnley Soropimists’ Club, with no short measure of input and guidance from solicitor Muriel Jobling MBE, who passed away aged 93 last March.

It is understood that the disturbing lack of care Miss Jobling saw her terminally-ill cleaner receiving in hospital prompted her to create a call to arms for a revolution in palliative care in the Burnley and Pendle area.

And so, the decision to launch an appeal for hospice care was made in October 1988, when Lord Shuttleworth, who had agreed to be president, attended the first meeting at Burnley Mechanics when the public was asked to find money with which to get the service started.

The newly formed charity set itself three initial objectives: home care, day care and the ultimate provision of in-patient facilities. The intention was to work with and complement the existing primary health care services. Home care volunteers came forward and, after training, were available to help people in their own homes.

From there a telephone help-line was set up and essential equipment was bought and loaned for patients to use. By 1992 the charity had enough money to open its first day-care centre in a building in the grounds of Marsden Hospital with a staff of two part-time nurses and a part-time cook. Volunteer medical, nursing and administrative staff were still the backbone of the operation.

Its first charity shop opened in Burnley in 1993, to be followed by others in 1994 and in 1997.

But in-patient beds were still not affordable. A campaign was launched to raise further funds to buy a suitable site and build a dedicated hospice care centre. An amazing £1.3million was raised through donations and legacies and a central site on Colne Road, Reedley, was acquired. Pendleside Hospice came into being.

The foundation stone was laid on April 12, 1996, and it was officially opened by the Duchess of Norfolk on October 2, 1997. The following year a Hospice at Home service was launched.

In its first year of operation, the annual cost of running the hospice was £200,000. It is now around £4million which is an indication of the growth of the services Pendleside now provides.

Now, 30 years after that first meeting at the Mechanics, the hospice has served the needs of not only thousands of patients but also thousands of family members and carers who receive counselling and therapies.

And, of course, for all of the patients and their families, the services, as they were 30 years ago, are totally free of charge.

Pendleside is celebrating its anniversary by launching a year-long fundraising campaign to help fund the future of hospice care.  There will be a concert in May

featuring a host of local schools, and there are plans to bring back the midnight memories walk, an  event that saw over 2,000 people taking part to remember their loved ones.

On October 5 the celebrations will culminate with a special birthday celebration at the hospice.

Helen McVey, Chief Executive of the hospice said:

“2018 is a very special year for us here at Pendleside Hospice as we celebrate 30 years since the hospice was founded.

“Since then we have seen the demand for our services grow year on year, while we have also seen a change in the care and support we provide, helping people with more diverse needs and medical conditions ranging from cancer to muscular dystrophy and dementia. 

“As the late Muriel Jobling MBE, the founding chairman of the hospice would say ‘The hospice was built by the community for the community’ and without the support of our local community we would not be able to continue to deliver the care to the people who need our support.” 

For more information visit Pendleside Hospice

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