The Hospice was co-founded by Pat Jeavons and Don Sturrock, who, having recognised the need for a Hospice for the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley, 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 that they received from the community.
Throughout this time, Pat and Don had both been suffering from cancer and had to fight their own illnesses as well as fighting for the Hospice.
As the task of raising money continued, the Co-op offered the chance of a fine location for the Hospice on the site of the old Shornells building on Bostall Hill, Abbey Wood. Not only was the site idyllic, but was right on the boundary of the two boroughs. After successfully purchasing the land for just £1, building work commenced in October 1992.
On Monday 7th February 1994 the Greenwich & Bexley Cottage Hospice saw the arrival of the first day care patients and exactly two months later on 7th April the first in-patients arrived.
In October 1999 the ‘Forget Me Not’ Appeal was launched to enable the Hospice to expand the building and enhance the range of services offered. The work was completed in September 2002.
In 2008 the Hospice further expanded its services taking 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 Hospice management. These teams are now called the Hospice Outreach Teams and they support over 1,000 people each year in their own homes, in care homes and in the local hospital. These changes have helped to ensure that Pat and Don’s vision has become a reality with the Hospice reaching out to people in whatever care setting our patients choose.
Both Pat and Don have now died and fittingly enough they died in the Hospice they pioneered, Pat in June 1997 and Don in August 2002.
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.
The long and thoughtful decision to change our name to Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice in 2010 was felt to better reflect the complete package of services we now provide.
The vision of our co-founders Pat and Don all those years ago continues to be in the forefront of our minds, to offer specialist palliative care and support to those living within the communities of Greenwich and Bexley Boroughs at a time when only our care is sufficient to meet their needs.