Hospice Southland reaches milestone

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Hospice Southland staff member of 25 years, service development officer/nurse Kirsty Robertson (left), and newest staff member volunteer co-ordinator Robyn Bye with Hospice's pet cat Meg in front of the facility's Te Whare Tapa Wha banners representing its indigenous model of health promotion, ensuring balance between spiritual well-being and family/human relationships.

HOSPICE Southland is celebrating 25 years of providing support for Southland families.

To mark the milestone, past and present staff, trustees and supporters are invited to join in the celebrations next weekend.

Hospice Southland chief executive Andrew Leys said the celebrations would be an opportunity for everyone to catch up and reminisce.

“Twenty-five years ago Hospice Southland was just a dream. The 25th anniversary gives us a chance to reflect,” Mr Leys said.

“It is a well-supported and appreciated service in our community that wouldn’t survive without the ongoing support of that appreciative community.”

Hospice Southland opened its doors in 1992 following a directive from the Government of the time to establish regional hospice services throughout New Zealand, and a huge fundraising effort, he said.

It was originally located in a wing of the former nurses’ home on the Southland Hospital grounds, gifted by the area health board, before moving to its present location, a $3 million purpose-built facility on the hospital grounds, in 2003.

The 25th anniversary celebrations will include a dinner at the Ascot Park Hotel for past and present staff and trustees on Saturday night and an afternoon tea for the public at Hospice on Sunday.

There will be a display of photographs of members of the team, volunteers, the facility’s numerous pets over the years, as well as photographs of the move to its present site. A book about Hospice Southland to mark the anniversary will also be launched at the event.

Hospice Southland clinical manager Denise van Aalst said its long-time patron, Jack Faul, now in his 90s, and several people who had been involved with Hospice since its inception, nurses Corina Calvert and Kirsty Robertson and trustee Graham Lewis, would be attending.

“It’s the kind of loyalty Hospice attracts… people want to stay involved.”

All past staff and supporters are invited to attend the celebrations. For more information and to register, email .org.nz

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