A hundred staff and volunteers representing the Arthur Rank Hospice, walked from the Hospice’s old site at 351 Mill Road, to their new home in Shelford Bottom last night (Monday 7 November). It was an evening for remembering precious moments as a time capsule was laid at what has been the Hospice’s home for the last 35 years – and hopes for the future, as a new chapter begins.
A moment of reflection was held in the Hospice’s Bernard Reiss Day Therapy Centre, before three of the Hospice’s longest serving members of staff, Sharon Leonard (Registered Nurse), Sheila Roberts (Clinical Nurse Specialist) & Edna Spalding (Healthcare Assistant) who between them have worked at the Hospice for 90 years, said a few words about what continues to make Arthur Rank Hospice such a special place to be.
The time capsule, containing significant and sentimental items – such as a fob watch which had belonged to Healthcare Assistant Trudy Garner who worked at the Hospice for over thirty years and was subsequently cared for by her colleagues, a current staff list and photo, a Hospice timeline, pin badges, an open letter and a wand of lavender from the Mill Road site’s gardens – was then laid to the departing sentiment: “Each and everyone of us will be taking memories in our hearts from this dear old building and as we look towards the future new and exciting times await but the team will remain doing what we do and doing it well. Do not walk before me I may not follow. Do not walk behind me I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
As dusk fell, the group – bearing lanterns – began the three mile walk from the Mill Road site to Shelford Bottom and the Hospice’s new bespoke-built home, from where care and services will be delivered as of the end of this week (Friday 11 November). Christine Barker, Hospice at Home Administrator, adds: “It was a poignant and special journey for us all to have made. The laying of the time capsule and saying farewell to the old building and remembering all those that had passed through its doors, was emotional but important for us to say our goodbyes. As the walk progressed and the darkness fell, the line of lanterns looked magical and the excitement and hopes for the future gathered as we neared the new hospice. Certainly an evening we will not forget and one which brought us all together on the start of our new journey.”