The charitable people of Crawley have been thanked for helping St Catherine’s Hospice to provide end of life care to thousands of patients for 30 years.
St Catherine’s Hospice, in Malthouse Road, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month.
Shaun O’leary, chief executive, has thanked the thousands of volunteers and staff for making the service a success.
Mr O’Leary said the £8.5 million a year operation had relied on thirty per cent funding from the NHS but more than £5m has been created through members of the public rattling tins, baking cakes, performing stunts and doing whatever they can to raise essential funds for the charity.
He said: “There are 700 volunteers on the charity’s books at the moment.
“Those people might have held fairs or rattled tins or volunteered to provide services or come to the kitchens and washed up.
“Volunteers here approach their work wanting to make a difference and most days they know they have.”
He said working for the charity was a very fulfilling.
He said: “Our staff are making a difference to the lives of people who are at their lowest and at their most vulnerable.
“This is about thousands of people over the last 30 years insuring people get the kind of care that they deserve.”
Mr O’leary said before the charity was created there were ‘real gaps in the care of people’ which the charity has successfully filled.
The concept of the hospice was thought up in the late 1970s when a group of local people recognised the need for a centre that could provide end of life care and support.
Fundraising groups were set up in 1980 with a target of raising £1 million to build the hospice and in 1983, the first ward was opened on the site.
Today, the hospice provides its services for more than 500,000 people across Crawley, Horsham, Mid Sussex and East Surrey.
Twelve hundred new patients have been referred to the charity every year for the past three years.
The charity has also expanded services to be able to provide more care at home as well as emotional support.
Mr O’Leary said over the next few years the charity would continue to expand and integrate further into the established services.
To find out more about the charity visit: www.stch.org.uk