Hospice History

Founded by the community, for the community

The Hospice was co-founded by Pat Jeavons and Don Sturrock. Having recognised the need for a Hospice for the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley, Pat and Don started to raise money to build such a place. This remarkable story began in 1985.

Negotiations for various sites for the Hospice were long and tedious and, in the main, disappointing. Their determination to carry on was largely a result of the overwhelming support they received from the community. Throughout this time, Pat and Don had both been living with cancer and dealing with their own health issues, while campaigning for the Hospice.

As the task of raising money continued, the Co-op offered a location for the Hospice on the site of the old Shornells building on Bostall Hill in Abbey Wood. After successfully purchasing the land for just £1, building work commenced in October 1992.

On Monday 7 February 1994, Greenwich & Bexley Cottage Hospice (as the Hospice was known then) saw the arrival of the first people to attend the day care service and exactly two months later, on 7 April, the first inpatients arrived.

Hospice timeline

  • May 1985 - Pat Jeavons and Don Sturrock launch the charity
  • October 1985 - Launch of 'Give Us A Quid' fundraising campaign
  • October 1988 - The Co-op offer a location for the Hospice
  • October 1992 - Building work commences
  • 7 February 1994 - Arrival of the first people to attend the Day Hospice service
  • 7 April 1994 - The first inpatients arrive
  • October 1999 - Forget Me Not Appeal launches to expand the building and range of services offered
  • September 2002 - The building work is complete

In 2008 the Hospice further expanded its services and took on the management of the Community Palliative Care Team for Greenwich and the Hospital Support Team at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich. The community services further expanded in 2010 when the Bexley Community Palliative Care Team (previously managed by Ellenor Lions Hospices) moved under the management of the Hospice. These teams support people in their own homes, in care homes, and in the local hospital.

These changes have helped ensure Pat and Don’s vision has become a reality – with the Hospice reaching out to people in whichever care setting they choose.

Pat died in the Hospice in June 1997, and Don died in the Hospice in August 2002.

In 2010 our name was changed to Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice to reflect the complete package of services provided by the Hospice and the support provided by local people to make it possible.

The vision of our co-founders Pat and Don continues to be in the forefront of our minds: to offer expert palliative care and support to people in Royal Greenwich and Bexley boroughs. The Hospice has continued to grow and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of those who require our services at the time, level and place of their choosing.

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