Back in September 2010 we were happy to give over the front page of The News to the launch of the £1m Dorothy’s Dream appeal by the Rowans Hospice at Purbrook.
We wholeheartedly supported the campaign – named after the famous line ‘there’s no place like home’ in The Wizard of Oz – to fund a new hospice at home service.
The vision was to be able to employ specialist nursing staff so that people with life-threatening illnesses could opt to spend their final days in the comfort and familiarity of their own home, surrounded by loved ones.
We knew it was a service people wanted. But we also recognised that the amount needed to make it happen was an ambitious target. Raising £1m at any time would be a tall order, but a faltering economy and general belt-tightening meant all charities were feeling the pinch.
Well, two-and-a-half years on and we’re delighted to report today that Dorothy’s Dream has hit its target – thanks to a generous legacy of £200,000.
We applaud the decision of the executors of 83-year-old Joan Blackmore’s estate to donate the money to the appeal, which they read about in The News.
As matron Erika Lipscombe says: ‘The team is incredibly grateful for this extraordinary gift which will make a huge difference to so many families in the Portsmouth and south east Hampshire area.’
It follows former nurse Audrey Smith leaving £346,000 to the general running of The Rowans in her will.
The hospice at home service has already supported 435 families and we hope that many more can be helped.
But amid the celebrations of the £1m figure being reached, we must not forget that this isn’t the end of the appeal. The Rowans now needs an extra £500,000 per year in order to pay for hospice at home.
We will continue to give our backing to such a worthwhile service and trust that generous and caring members of the community also realise its value and do what they can to keep raising funds.