Our origins date 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.
It wasn’t 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 24th June. At the AGM in September, 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.
Due to further increased demand, work began on of a new kitchen and dining room, an improved treatment area and a larger second floor for offices, meeting rooms and other facilities.
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 on the former site of St Bede’s Church on Rochdale Road. A ground breaking event was held on 23 September.
Building work was completed in December 2012 on our new home. 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.
Bury Hospice is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary year. This milestone marks a tremendous contribution the hospice has made to the community it serves.
It’s wonderful to be celebrating 30 years and we would like to thank all our community for their invaluable support over the past three decades.
We are proud of how far we have come – we could not do what we do without you.