East Lancashire Hospice has a summer of events planned to mark its 35th anniversary.
The hospice, which turned 35 on Friday 21 June, was established thanks to the dedication of anaesthetist Dr Merton Seigleman who had a vision to provide pain free and dignified care for patients in their final stages of life.
The idea of a hospice was supported by people in the area and money started pouring in as the general public showed their support.
Fundraisers managed to reach the £700,000 needed to build the hospice over several years and on 12th May 1983 the foundation stone for the brand new purpose-built East Lancashire Hospice, a ten-bedded Inpatient Unit.
On the 21st June 1984, the East Lancashire Hospice first opened its doors to patients and their families from Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley.
To celebrate the hospice’s 35th anniversary, the community are once again being invited to get involved.
Supporters were invited to be part of a drone photo, spelling out ‘35’ taken by Jak Spedding Photography who donated his time, and messages of support have come flooding in from celebrities and hospice supporters wishing the hospice, its staff, its volunteers and its patients a happy birthday.
Hospice Creative and Support Therapy (CaST) patients will be hosting an 80s themed party for members and family members in September, and this week hospice charity shops will be taking a step back in time and create 1980s inspired shop window displays for customers.
Business in the area are being invited to relive the decade by wearing legwarmers, shoulder pads and crimping their hair for dress down days in exchange for a £1 donation.
Hospice supporters Whitakers Butchers in Oswaldtwistle have even renamed their best-selling sausage after the occasion, with proceeds going to the charity.
Tickets are now on sale for a bumper raffle draw for £3,500, which will be drawn in August. More details are available on the hospice website: www.eastlancshospice.org.uk
Later in the year there will be a 35th anniversary ball with more details available on the hospice website.
Lyn Stevenson, Chief Executive of the hospice, said: “The hospice was built by the community, for the community and we are proud that we continue to be here to provide a special way of caring 35 years on.”
Chair of the Trustees, Graham Parr said, “On behalf of everyone at East Lancashire Hospice, I would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters who help us to provide care which our patients and their families tell us is priceless, we couldn’t do it without you”
Dr Merton Seigleman added: “The hospice is a haven. From the staff to the volunteers, it opens its arms and offers an atmosphere of calmness and tenderness coupled with great skill and compassion.”
For more information on how you can support the hospice to ensure it can continue to provide care for years to come, visit the website at www.eastlancshospice.org.uk