His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester visited Salford today to mark a very special moment in St Ann’s Hospice’s history.
The charity, which cares for patients with life-limiting illnesses from across Greater Manchester, is celebrating 40 years since its site in Little Hulton opened, and The Duke joined staff, patients and volunteers as they marked the occasion.
Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to The Duke of Gloucester for taking time in his busy schedule to come to St Ann’s. We were honoured to show him around our Little Hulton site, and to introduce him to some of our patients and their families, staff and volunteers.”
“Our second hospice site in Little Hulton began receiving patients in 1979, and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal came to officially open it in May that year, so it’s an honour to have The Duke join us as we celebrate this special anniversary.”
“It’s an exciting time for the hospice, as we approach our 50th anniversary of the organisation as a whole in 2021. It’s a real testament to the local community that St Ann’s has been able to provide specialist care to people from Greater Manchester for so long. Whether that’s the support we receive from fundraisers who generously help us raise the £20,000 a day we need to keep our services running, the endless time our army of more than 700 local volunteers give to help staff and patients, or the businesses and health care professionals who collaborate with us in so many ways – we simply wouldn’t have been here for so long without you, so thanks for all you do for St Ann’s.”
The Duke was given a tour of the hospice, and planted a special commemorative tree to mark the occasion. He met patients and families being cared for at the hospice, and spoke to volunteers and members of staff about the work the charity does in the local area.
St Ann’s Hospice is one of the oldest and largest hospices outside of London, and cares for patients from its three sites in Little Hulton, Heald Green, and The Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital. Staff also provide a range of community and outreach services, as well as training and development for healthcare providers and other professionals in the field of palliative and end of life care.
The hospice employs more than 350 people, with another 700 volunteering their time to help out across various departments. St Ann’s also runs a Trading Company to help raise funds for the charity, which includes fourteen shops and a hospice lottery.
Eamonn added: “It’s so interesting looking back and reflecting on St Ann’s unique history and how privileged we have been, over the years, to have touched the lives of so many families. What’s interesting is that while hospice care changes and its breadth and ambition is probably unrecognisable to the care provided when the early hospices opened around half a century ago, the ethos of what we do remains the same. We always want to provide individualised, holistic care to our patients, and our overarching aim is to ensure they have the very best quality of life as possible. That hasn’t changed in almost half a century, and as we look ahead and evolve and develop our services for the future, we know that will always remain most important to us.”
To make a donation to the hospice or find out more about its services, please go to www.sah.org.uk