Thank you for your "Mountbatten Memories"

Dozens of memories about 35 years of Earl Mountbatten Hospice have been recalled during a two-week tour of the hospice’s ten shops across the Isle of Wight.
Earlier this year, the hospice was delighted to receive a lottery grant to produce “Mountbatten Memories”, an oral history project charting the organisation’s development and celebrating the involvement of people who have made it the success it has been.
During the tour of hospice shops, volunteers helped to collect memories which included interviews with two former nurses who worked at the hospice during the early days, a musician who entertained patients in the 1980s, the owner of the construction firm that was instrumental in the development of the building itself and the former MD of Morey’s who supported Frank Stevens and Bill Bradley to start Walk the Wight. Many other stories have come from people who have received “fantastic” care and support from the hospice.
These stories have been already shared on social media and, later this year, the audio interviews will be added to a collection of other stories on our website. They will also be reflected in the next phase of the project, the Mountbatten Memories exhibition, which will be staged at various events throughout the year.
Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive, said: “I would like to thank everyone who has so far shared their memories with us for this project, which will create a lasting legacy of our Island’s hospice. It is very important that we remember and celebrate the involvement of everyone who has supported our hospice, and we look forward to sharing the results of the project on our website and at the exhibition.”
If you would like to share your story of how you've been involved in the development of our hospice, please get in touch by email or phone (01983) 217318.
Your Mountbatten Memories
Below is a small selection of some of the stories that have been provided during our tour of shops:
Robert Ventress, from Ventnor, owner of Henry Ingrams & Sons Building Contractors
We were invited to tender for the first phase of works in the 1980s at Earl Mountbatten Hospice, which was the refurbishment of the existing building including the lodge, which has since been demolished, and which was then used as offices. We won the contract for the initial stages of refurbishment and extending of the existing building, so that they had the required wards to commence. Then, after the new wards were built in the early 2000s, we were involved in a refurbishment of those. It was a very interesting time and quite satisfying to see the results of what you have been involved with. It’s been good to see how it’s evolved over the years.

Claire Grant, from Ventnor, a former nurse
I was working at St Mary’s Hospital in 1982, but heard about the hospice from a great friend Dennis Sibley, who was working at the hospice and said how good it was there. There were only 8 beds at that time. I worked for two nights a week as a staff nurse; it was such a good team, we got on so well!

Lady Sally Grylls, from Bembridge, whose Mountbatten Memory is the launch of our dementia services
I’ve been supporting the hospice over many years, but I’ve become more actively involved since Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse appeal. I heard an appeal on Radio Four for funds for Admiral Nurses; I’d never heard of them then. I discovered there were no Admiral Nurses on the Island and that was when I decided to take up the cause to do more proactive charity work for the community by supporting Admiral Nurses connected to the hospice.  All of us know someone suffering from dementia and these nurses support the families at home and the carers. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I’ve had from people all over the Island. Last year, we were very privileged to appoint the first Admiral Nurse to work alongside the nursing team at the hospice.

Terry Colman, from Wootton, who is the former Managing Director of Morey’s
In those days, Morey’s was a private company. Two of the managers, Bill Bradley and Frank Stevens used to go out walking at the weekends, as a hobby. One year, they wanted to move it along and they mentioned it to me and I gave them some money towards the running expenses which helped get it off the ground - it was a seedling and I gave them some water to help them to grow. I watched it over the years snowball from a few dozen people walking for charity to literally thousands. Bill and Frank put hours and hours of their own time into it, they had to start from scratch sorting out the organisation of it.

Alan Garnett, from Ryde, who used to entertain patients in the 1980s
I was with an organisation called Ryde Buccaneers, we were a charitable organisation. We used to go round entertaining at the hospice, hospitals and care homes at New Year and Christmas. We used to sing and started doing carols and folk songs for patients. We often just popped in, I think it went down well and it was something different for the patients as well.

Monica Dale, from Chale, a former nurse at the hospice in the 1980s
Hospice care for me is something that enables me, as a nurse, to give time and quality care to an individual, and get to know them and their family, and make their last days hopefully happy. It was very small when I worked at the hospice, but there were always enough nurses to look after the patients and there was a big day room. One of things I found very important was the need for people to talk, not necessarily now or at the time of death, but after death when the reality hits.

Rita Cooper, from East Cowes, whose mum was cared for at home by the hospice
My mum was 96 and wasn’t very well. The doctor came in to see her and they called in the hospice team. Two lovely nurses came in and made her comfortable, put her on medication so that she was out of pain so that I could get my rest. They were there with her for four days and she died at home. I didn’t realise that the hospice offered that service to people that didn’t have cancer. Mum really enjoyed her last few days in her own home, which is what she wanted to do. It was a great comfort.

 "What should have been a very stressful time was eased by the love, professionalism and warmth we received from all the staff." 


Sandra Aldridge, wife of Colin