Our origins go back to 1977, when Sister Veronica Compston attended a meeting of the Manchester Human Rights Group. At this event, Dr. Richard Lamerton was a guest speaker; he was a former colleague of Dr. Cicely Saunders who was a pioneer of the hospice movement in the UK.
However, it was not until 1982, when Sister Veronica called a public meeting, that a hospice group was formed and fundraising began.
An appeal committee was soon established and, by the time of the inaugural meeting, accumulated balances stood at over £12,000. The project had touched a nerve in Bury. Support and encouragement was immediate and has remained constant ever since. Local organisations, schools, firms and businesses, as well as individuals, have all continued to play their part.
Bury Hospice admitted its first patients on June 24th 1991. At the AGM in September 1991, the chairman, Colin Caffrey, commented, “We have seen the fulfilment of what can best be described as a dream – the establishment of Bury Hospice.” During the next two years, the requests for hospice services continued to increase; as the hospice was limited by the number of beds, day care became the main growth area and, to provide more space, steps were taken to site a Portakabin in the hospice grounds and a small extension was planned.
Early in 1998, due to further demand, work began on the provision of a better kitchen, a dining room, an improved treatment area and a larger second floor for offices, meeting rooms and other facilities.
In 2008, as hospice and palliative care continued to evolve and demand increased, further refurbishment took place in order to provide a consulting room and conservatory, and in July, the hospice at home service was established. With the introduction of additional outpatient services, including psychological support, carer counselling, outpatient clinics and complementary therapies, it soon became clear that more space would soon be required if a comprehensive, quality service was to be provided for future generations. With no space to extend further, the search for a new site began.
Building work began on a new home for Bury Hospice. And a “ground breaking event “ was held on 23 September 2011.
Building work completed December 2012 on a new home for Bury Hospice. The hope remains that, with the new state-of-the-art facilities, an increase from five inpatient beds to twelve, and a wide range of day and outpatient clinics and services, the benefits of a model of care previously available to only a few people will, in time, be extended to all who need it.
The new hospice opened its doors on 18th March.