Hospice celebrates 25th birthday

Staff, patients, carers, volunteers and fundraisers have helped Doncaster’s hospice celebrate its 25th birthday.

A special garden fete was held on Saturday, with guests including Jeannette Fish and a number of dedicated fundraisers, who without them the hospice would have never been built.

There was fun on offer, including rides, a sandpit, facepainting and the chance to hold birds of prey for the kids, and stalls, cakes, tombolas and much more for the adults.

St John’s Hospice at Balby is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) and its chairman Lawson Pater together with Jeanette did the honours, cutting the 25th birthday cake to mark the start of the afternoon’s celebrations.

Lawson said: “It was a fantastic day to mark the 25th anniversary of such a vital community asset.  None of us know, if or when we, or any of our loved ones, might need the help of our hospice or community palliative care services. But when the need does arise, the people of Doncaster, through their own generosity over the years, have excellent services staffed by dedicated, caring and compassionate staff and volunteers to rely on. We are very grateful indeed for everyone’s donations which go towards enhancing the care of those in need.”

Jeannette, of the Doncaster Cancer Detection Trust (DCDT), said: “The money for the building of the hospice and the subsequent upgrades have not just been raised by a few people in the DCDT but by the people of Doncaster. Doncaster people wanted the hospice to happen and it happened thanks to them.”

John Clark, former chairman of DCDT, who was accompanied by Carol Spiller and Yvonne Woodcock, who have volunteered for the DCDT for more than 25 years, added: “The hospice is a terrific worthwhile cause. The DCDT has donated over £5 million over the years and all of the money raised was done so by volunteers.  When we first started fundraising it was at the time of the miners’ strike and when RAF Finningley closed but Doncaster people were so generous to get the hospice going.”

Take a look at some of our photos from the day here. There’s more on our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/stjohnshospicedoncaster/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1840419202937120