MP for Barnsley Central and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, has officially launched Barnsley Hospice’s 25th anniversary year with the planting of a tree in the grounds.
The MP was joined by the Mayor of Barnsley, Councillor Steve Green and Councillor Pauline Markham on Friday 25 January to mark the start of a year of celebrations at the hospice.
The planting of a bay tree in the hospice gardens recreated a sod cutting ceremony which took place in 1993, where founding member of the Barnsley Hospice Appeal, Dr Sarala Shradhanand Mahatme cut the first soil at the Gawber Church Street site.
Dr Mahatme and Chairman of the Barnsley Hospice Appeal, Alan Sherriff MBE, were instrumental in securing funding and planning permission for a hospice day centre where people could get support at the end of their lives.
Since opening its doors in 1994, Barnsley Hospice has cared for thousands of patients and families in the borough with a life-limiting illness, including cancer, motor neurone disease and heart disease.
Events will take place throughout 2019 to celebrate 25 years of hospice care and a celebration open day for residents and supporters is also planned for Sunday 23 June. Details of the events and how people can get involved will be promoted through the Barnsley Hospice Facebook page and Twitter channels.
Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “Whenever I visit Barnsley Hospice I am inspired by the staff and volunteers who make such a huge difference to patients and their families, usually in extremely difficult circumstances. Their commitment and dedication shines through.
“I was delighted to be involved in the hospice’s 25th anniversary celebrations, and I wish them well for this important year. I would also like to thank the people Barnsley for their long-standing and generous support over the years.”
Chief Executive of Barnsley Hospice, Julie Ferry, said: “We were thrilled to welcome Dan back to the hospice to launch our landmark 25th year. With his help we’ve been able to recreate a special moment from all those years ago, when work to build the hospice began.
“During the last 25 years the hospice has come such a long way and we’d like to thank people for their support during that time. With their support we can ensure the hospice can continue to provide comfort, care and dignity to those local people who need it for the next 25 years and beyond.
“We have lots of exciting events and activities planned throughout the year and are looking forward to revealing more of our plans soon.”
Barnsley Hospice provides specialist care for anyone in the borough with a life-limiting illness. As well as ten beds for inpatient care, it also provides support through its day therapy unit and offers counselling and complementary therapies to many of its patients and carers.
The hospice needs to raise £2.2m a year through the support of local people and businesses to care for patients and their families – in addition to £1.6m funding from the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Image: From left to right – Dan Jarvis MP, Cllr Steve Green, Cllr Pauline Markham, and Chief Executive of Barnsley Hospice, Julie Ferry