Prospect Hospice is 40 today – A message from our chief executive

May 2020


On this day back in 1980, Prospect Hospice was born.

The vision of Rev Derryck Evans, the hospice began with a few people wanting to help the local community care for their loved ones at the end of their life. A noble cause, and one shared by the whole of the hospice community. For Prospect Hospice this desire to help those at the end of their lives to die with dignity, surrounded by their loved ones, has continued to grow and develop. I’m sure the Rev. Derek Evans couldn’t have imagined how we’d change.

Our services started with two nurses delivering care into people’s homes and, as our reputation grew and the demand for our care increased, we found a base at the Victoria Hospital. 25 years after we were first formed, we launched an appeal for a new purpose built building and opened the hospice we have today at Wroughton complete, with an inpatient unit, doctors, nurses, therapy support, carers and bereavement support offered 24/7 care for people of Swindon and north east Wiltshire. There has been a lot of change of the last 40 years, and that change isn’t going to stop here.

This year we’re pausing our 40th celebrations. This pandemic is taking too many lives, infecting too many people and now is not the right time to celebrate. What this virus has shown us though is that despite our many years of service to the local community, we are not complacent. We are as strong and as agile as we ever were.

To support our community through this pandemic, we have completely changed our services, redeployed our staff and risen to the challenge that faces our community.

In some ways we’ve gone back to our roots. We’re delivering more care than ever before in the community, keeping people safe in their homes, surrounded by their loved ones, and what has swelled my heart with pride is how every single member of Prospect Hospice has risen to that challenges. Whether they are critical front line clinical staff, part of the vital support teams that keeps the hospice running, our volunteers who support every single part of the hospice, or those colleagues who work with the community and our supporters, despite the challenges we face, together we will raise the funds we need and keep our operation going to ensure our doors remain open for another 40 years.

Today, we won’t be celebrating our 40th year, but we will be saying thank you to all of our staff, volunteers and supporters, past and present, without whom we wouldn’t have helped the thousands of people across this wonderful community.

Yes, times are tough at the moment, for everyone, and for some more than others. I want to thank you, our staff, volunteers and supporter on behalf of our patients, their families and those important to them for helping Prospect Hospice be here to care for and support them in their hours of need since 1980.

Thank you.

Irene Watkins, chief executive at Prospect Hospice

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