Opening the event, Chief Executive Nigel Hartley welcomed visitors to the John Cheverton Centre and outlined the work of the hospice. He told the audience that as well as a year of celebration, the anniversary would be an opportunity to bust some myths about the hospice and its work.
Many said they were surprised to hear that the majority of the hospice’s work takes place outside of the Newport-based inpatient unit (ward). Every day, the hospice cares and supports 600 people in their own homes, including care homes, through end of life services and bereavement support. He praised the work of volunteers, who give over 3000 hours of help every week across all areas of the hospice.
Nigel also urged people to make use of the hospice building, which belongs to the whole community. He highlighted that the hospice is a normal place to visit and urged the audience to attend events in the Social Programme, which includes music concerts to suit all tastes, an art gallery, craft evenings, Sunflower Café which is open to all until 20:00, and the Chelsea Garden.
A number of people attending the event took a tour of the building, which included viewing the Art Gallery and the inpatient unit (ward), and everyone was offered a goody bag containing information about forthcoming 35th anniversary events.
Speaking after the event, Nigel Hartley, said:
“It was wonderful to see so many members of our community attending the Open Day, and celebrating the launch of this special year. The event was a great opportunity to explain more about how we support people across the Isle of Wight, and we received lots of feedback from people who didn’t realise that we now do more work in the community than within the four walls of the hospice building.
“We would like more people to come and find out what a warm and welcoming place the hospice is, and our Open House Fridays are an ideal opportunity for groups and individuals to do just that”.
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For more information about Open House Fridays, or to book, call 01983 217320 or email [email protected].