Christmas Message from Ruth White, Chief Executive, The Rowans Hospice

Ruth White

Ruth White

From left, architect Mick Morris, headteacher Rebecca Parkyn and Michael Babcock at the opening of Mayville School's new senior department Picture: Malcolm Wells (170426-1427)

Southsea school celebrates opening of new £700k building

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It has been the most amazing year for all of us here at The Rowans – a year which saw us raise the £750,000 we needed to launch the Hospice at Home service.

We managed to do it about 12 months after launching our Dorothy’s Dream appeal to enable those patients who wished to do so to die peacefully in their own homes.

At this time of year, amid all the hustle and bustle, it is worth pausing for a moment to think about the generosity of all those who donated to our fund-raising campaign.

These are people who might have had the lives of loved ones touched by illness, or simply those who just wanted to give. It never ceases to amaze me how kind people are.

We’ve had so much fun in 2011 organising and taking part in various events to get the service off the ground.

So many people went to so much trouble and effort to help. We really can’t thank them enough.

This is a dream come true. We were so worried about how we would manage to raise all the money at a time when the country was in recession, but there was something about this appeal that caught the imagination and we were thrilled to launch it.

I feel so humbled and overwhelmed by the support of people and their amazing generosity.

I also want to give credit to The News for supporting the campaign and helping make Dorothy’s Dream a reality. It’s been a lovely way to communicate with the public – because the hospice is their hospice.

Of course, Christmas is a difficult and sad time at the Rowans with people dying at such a significant and poignant time.

The world does stop for a little bit and calm does descend on Christmas Day and it’s wonderful to see families have the time and peace to come together on that day.

We play Christmas music, decorate the building and the nurses dress up and wear dangly Christmas earrings to make it more special.

We also have our Light Up a Life tree, a sycamore in the grounds on which lights are lit to remember those who have died.

I’m so proud that we achieved the Hospice at Home service run in conjunction with district nurses and with support from the NHS.

May I take this opportunity of thanking you all who have supported us so magnificently, especially those who have given so generously to the Dorothy’s Dream appeal.

On behalf of all the team at the Rowans, I wish readers a merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year.

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