Compton Hospice Celebrates 35 Years of Caring
Posted on 01 February 2017.
On this day thirty five years ago Compton Hospice opened its doors to the local community to provide care and support for people diagnosed with an incurable illness. Initially caring for 200 patients a year the hospice has grown to now support an average of 2,500 patients a year.
Over the last three and a half decades Compton Hospice is estimated to have supported over 35,000 patients and thousands more family members, and has become regarded as a centre of excellence for providing training to healthcare professionals.
Clare Mills is one of Compton Hospice’s longest serving members of staff having joined the organisation as a Healthcare Assistant in 1986.
Clare comments: “When I first came to Compton I was so frightened, I didn’t know what to expect but straight away I found the work to be so rewarding. People speak about hospices a lot more now than they did when I first came here. Everyone used to wonder what was behind the wall out front because they didn’t know what kind of work we did here. Over the years those barriers have been broken down and people understand hospice care a lot more.
“In my 31 years I’ve seen the hospice movement develop and I’ve seen Compton become a training centre for doctors and nurses. We have been able to promote dying with dignity and been at the forefront of the movement.”
One person who has experienced first-hand the care provided by the hospice is Anu Gibson, whose father spent his final days on Compton’s Inpatient Unit in summer 2015.
Anu comments: “The hospice was nothing like I imagined it to be. It was the best place he could have gone to spend his final days. We could visit dad whenever we wanted, and on my son’s 3rd birthday we had some celebrations at the hospice so it was lovely for him to be able to spend that time with this granddad. When my dad took his final breath we were all by his side.
“I feel so lucky to have had the benefit of support given by Compton Hospice as a family member to a patient. I have friends who also lost a parent around the same time as me and it makes me realise just how much support and help Compton offers not only when a loved one is staying there, but also in helping families pick up the pieces afterwards. Compton Hospice has without question been a much needed beacon of light for me and my family in helping us get through our loss and continues to be even 18 months on.”
Compton Hospice’s celebration coincides with the 50th anniversary of the modern hospice movement – a movement which now sees 200 hospice centres care for over 200,000 people across the country every year.
To mark its anniversary Compton Hospice will host a series of events and challenges throughout the year which the charity hopes to encourage members of the public to take part in.
Vicki Wootton, Fundraiser for Compton Hospice, comments: “As a charity, Compton Hospice provides all of its care services free of charge. However to be able to this we need to raise over £6 million every year. We are incredibly grateful to the public who have helped us to fundraise and offered their time as volunteers over the past 35 years, we simply wouldn’t be where we are now without their support.
“To be able to carry on the great work we do, and with demand for our services growing year on year, we need your help more than ever. We’d like to encourage as many people as possible to support Compton Hospice this year either by joining in an event, supporting our shops or becoming a volunteer.”