5 minutes with: Jackie Tritton
PUBLISHED: 10:01 07 February 2016
The director of patient services at Watford-based Peace Hospice, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year
How did Peace Hospice Care get started?
The South West Herts Charitable Trust was set up in June 1991 by a group of committed volunteers who gave their time and energy to raise funds that would allow the former Peace Memorial Hospital (below) to reopen as a hospice. Their vision, drive, determination and solid fundraising initiatives shaped the services we offer to the community today. We are celebrating 25 years of caring, 25 years of sharing and 25 years of being at the heart of our community.
How have things developed over the years?
From our humble beginnings working in a Portakabin running a day service for outpatients, we have grown beyond all our hopes and expectations to offer a Hospice at Home service, in-patient care, a day service run through our Starlight centre and bereavement support. Last year, Peace Hospice Care made 2,681 home visits and supported 445 patients. We also supported 236 patients and their families in our Inpatient Unit and provided bereavement support to 501 people.
Why is the service important?
The demand for our services will increase as a result of a greater number of people living with life-limiting illnesses, an ageing population that faces more complex illnesses, and a growing pressure on hospital bed space.
Every week, we receive many cards to thank us for the care we offered loved ones. Those cards really do show that our services, our care, our staff and our volunteers help so many people at a very difficult time in their lives.
How are you celebrating the anniversary?
We start our celebrations with a wonderful concert, the Anniversary Peace Classics, taking place at Clarendon Muse in Watford on February 18, performed by students of the Royal College of Music. We also have a fundraising trek across the Sahara Desert from March 1-9 and a Fire and Ice Walk on March 17, and we are getting ready for a fun-packed Strictly Come Hospice finale night at the Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth on March 13. We really welcome the community to get involved, join in with our celebrations or create one of their own.
How else can people support the hospice?
Some individuals leave a legacy, others have a collection for a loved one, and many families arrange their own fundraising events or a workplace event. We welcome all support. We need to raise £5m every year to continue providing our care and we cannot do it without the support of the community. Those interested in helping us can visit peacehospice.care.org.uk