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2017 marks our 35th anniversary year

2017 is an important milestone for both Earl Mountbatten Hospice and the Isle of Wight, as together we celebrate 35 years of being at the heart of our community.
The hospice was officially opened on 13 October 1982 by HRH the Duchess of Kent after a fundraising campaign by the Isle of Wight community. The need for a hospice was spearheaded by Dr Desmond Murphy, Consultant Respiratory Physician (now retired), who played a pivotal role in setting up the service. He has vivid memories of the formal opening: “Most of all, my memory of that visit was of the Duchess working with the patients, chatting to them, meeting them and making them feel really special. It was a very memorable day for me; the overriding feeling was certainly satisfaction and happiness at how the day had gone. I think most of all, I was so impressed by the Duchess. As a human being, she would probably be one of the most special people I have had the pleasure to have met in my life.”
Over the last 35 years, our team at Earl Mountbatten has developed and honed their expert and specialist knowledge; the anniversary marks not only the significant development of services, but also unwavering support from our community and volunteers.  By 1989, there were more than 60 volunteers. Today, we are indebted to more than 600 volunteers. Among them is Beryl Dimmick from Totland Bay, one of our longest standing volunteers, who recalled that things were very different in the early days: “The nurses served dinner and the volunteers waited and cleaned. We celebrated when we had a new mechanical bath!”
As well as marking past achievements, 2017 will be an opportunity to dispel myths about the work of our hospice, which has grown in size and reputation. For example, we do not just support people in the last weeks and months of life. For many, a range of support services are offered over the last years of life including psychological and emotional support to people and their families; access to rehabilitation services including a bespoke gym; or support from highly trained volunteers who can help with day-to-day support at home, such as shopping and other practical tasks. We are now also providing more day-to-day and longer-term personal care so people can remain at home, wherever that may be. Over 600 people a day receive care and support outside of our hospice building in Newport. 
As we continue to need to raise around £5million of the £7million it currently costs to support the Isle of Wight community, new fundraising events are planned during 2017. More details about our 35th anniversary plans are due to be revealed at an Open Day being held between 10am and 1pm on Friday 27 January at the John Cheverton Cenre. All are welcome to come and find out more about how our services have developed and our plans for the future.
To mark the start of our 35th anniversary year, a photograph with staff and volunteers in the shape of a ‘35’ has been taken with help from Island Roads. The team supplied a cherry picker to enable the photo to be taken at height.  Paul Herbert, Service Director, said: “As an Island-based company, the great work carried out at the hospice is well known to us and we were delighted to help out with their request.”
Meanwhile, to celebrate the extraordinary efforts of our fundraising community during our 35th year, a number of new anniversary badges are being launched. Anyone who raises £35 or more will receive a Bronze anniversary badge, those who go the extra mile and raise £350 or more will receive a Silver anniversary badge, and those who really step up to the challenge and raise £3,500 or more will receive a limited edition Gold anniversary badge (see for terms and conditions).
Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive, said: “I would urge people to come along on the 27 January and hear more about our exciting plans for the year ahead. I know that the Island community is deeply committed and caring and with your support, Earl Mountbatten Hospice, your hospice, can sustain and grow its services for our future.
“I also commit that the money that you entrust us with to support our Island community will be spent wisely and cautiously. After all, the hospice does not belong to me or only to the staff and volunteers who support it. Earl Mountbatten Hospice, as it has for the past 35 years, belongs to you. Cherish it, care about it and continue to support it. If you live out your life on the Isle of Wight, you will most certainly need it,” he added.

"It's another's kept me in this world!"


Maureen, Patient