Bury Hospice was opened in 1991 with money raised by the local community and its aims then were the same as they are today; to provide specialist twenty-four-hour in-patient, medical and respite facilities care for people with life-limiting illness, whilst doing everything they can to help support their families and carers.
It costs £2.9m per year to run Bury Hospice, and as a charity, they have to raise nearly £2.4m through community support. Every donation makes a difference.
So to help in some small way, VWBro David H Thompson, PGJO, APGM, presented a cheque for £4000 to Lisa Buckley, Senior Corporate and Community Fundraiser and Lisa Schofield, the Digital & Communications Officer. He was accompanied by WBro David Combes, the Worshipful Master of Secretarius Lodge No 1932. Unfortunately, apologies were received from the Masters of William Romaine Calendar Lodge No 136, Wike Lodge No 142 and Constitution Lodge No 949.
This donation was made on behalf of the Mark Benevolent Fund who have invited every Mark Lodge within England and Wales to nominate a hospice within their Province to receive a donation of £1000 in recognition of a lifetime of service and dedication to the Crown and the nation by his HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, making an overall total of £1.25m.
The MBF is the official charity of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, the third largest branch of Freemasonry with over 35,000 members worldwide. H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, has been the President of the Mark Benevolent Fund for over 40 years. The Fund came into existence in 1868 and has disbursed many millions to individual petitioners and over £28m in grants to charities and worthy causes within the wider community.
With a population of over £190,000 (2018), in the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, it is a diverse area of six separate and distinct towns; Bury, Prestwich, Whitefield, Radcliffe, Tottington and Ramsbottom and many of their patients are from areas of high deprivation within the borough. Their aim is to be the pride of Bury and surrounding districts by helping people to fulfil their wishes during life-shortening illnesses and provide quality care whenever and wherever it is needed most.
It was in 1982 that a hospice group was formed and fundraising began. But it was in 1991 Bury Hospice admitted its first patients on 24th June. As time went on it soon became clear that more space would soon be required if a comprehensive, quality service was to be provided for future generations.
As hospice and palliative care continued to evolve and demand increased, further refurbishment took place in 2008 in order to provide a consulting room and conservatory and, in July, the hospice at home service was established. It was in 2011 that building work began on a new home for Bury Hospice on the former site of St Bede’s Church on Rochdale Road. Completed in December 2012 with the new state-of-the-art facilities, an increase from five inpatient beds to twelve, and a wide range of day and outpatient clinics and services. In 2021 it celebrated its thirtieth anniversary.
Just added to the team is Sue Irwin who takes on a completely new role of Hospice Liaison Nurse. This involves working across the community to support patients, families, professionals, and acts as a link between the Hospice and other healthcare settings across Bury. By increasing knowledge about Hospice services, supporting timely access to their services and delivering Hospice care in other care settings it will enable them to be there for more people when it matters the most.
For all those who have made a donation of £1000 or more, they can have a message added to the Heart Wall with an inscription of their choice. It was felt appropriate that each of the 4 Lodges who nominated Bury Hospice should have their individual names added to this very special wall.