St Wilfrid’s – the journey
It was Founding Trustee and now Vice-President, Dr Sandra Sedgwick, who recognised the need to build a hospice in Chichester. “Forty years ago, when I was a newly qualified doctor, I realised that no-one really knew how best to treat dying patients. I remember my feelings of shock and sadness while witnessing a patient dying of cancer, being resuscitated, separated from their loved ones in the last few minutes of their life.”
In 1980, a committee, who shared the same vision and passion to create a Hospice for Chichester, was formed. It took approximately seven years of tireless dedication and determination for the group to realise their ambition, but with the support of the whole community, they achieved their goal and opened the doors to St Wilfrid’s Hospice on 5th January 1987. Its first patient was Gwen Souter. Her daughter, Mrs Stoner, recalls the moment they arrived: “when my mother came to the Hospice, the nurses were still unpacking the crockery! However, the care and kindness she and the family received, could not be faulted.”
It didn’t take long for the reputation of the Hospice to grow and consequently the beds were seldom empty. Since then, St Wilfrid’s has had to expand and grow on numerous occasions to meet the increasing and changing needs of the local community.
Chief Executive, Alison Moorey said: “What hasn’t changed since 1987 is the generosity of the community we serve; which continues to support the work of St Wilfrid’s through all manner of unusual and wonderful activities - we are incredibly grateful.”
A bright new future for hospice care across the community
For those who founded the Hospice 30 years ago, it seems astonishing to think that the demand for St Wilfrid’s services has now outgrown the current building, despite extensions and adaptions over the years.
St Wilfrid’s new Hospice will be built upon a piece of land on Walton Lane, Bosham, for which planning permission was granted in November 2015. The land was purchased in January 2016 and during the summer has been cleared of derelict glasshouses and vegetation, in order to begin construction in July 2017.
The new St Wilfrid’s Hospice will have over 50% more useable space, enabling the Hospice to improve outpatient care, support more patients on the ward and out in the community and provide the privacy and dignity patients and their families so desperately need.
From dream to reality – we need your help!
Our DREAMBUILDING is going to cost at least £15.5 million. We have already made great progress, but we need the help of the community once more, to help us raise the remaining £4 million and help this dream become a reality!