To coincide with National Hospice Care Week, the Lord-Lieutenant visited Willow Wood Hospice in Tameside to tour, meet and thank the staff and volunteers for their wonderful work and to place an engraved stone, in memory of Queen Elizabeth ll, in their Memory Pool and Fountain. She was joined on the visit by The Mayor and Mayoress of Tameside and the Chief Executive, Trustees and Patrons of the Trust.
Willow Wood Hospice is an adult Hospice providing specialist palliative care for patients with life limiting illnesses, both cancer and non-cancer diagnosis. They provide care, free of charge, and with patients, families and their carers are at the centre of everything they do. 8 out of 10 patients are cared for by money raised by donations given to them. Over the years, they have had many requests from families who would like to place a tribute to their loved ones in their gardens. However, they didn’t have the space for benches or for trees to be planted in their honour and so created the Memory Pool and Fountain where Memory Stones can be placed.
The Chair of Trustees gave a speech in which he said the Hospice was honoured and delighted to host the Lord-Lieutenant and gave an insight into what the Hospice does and the challenges it faces. He also paid tribute to the late Queen for her lifetime of public service. The Lord-Lieutenant then responded, thanking them and acknowledging their Queen’s Award for Voluntary service in 2016. They have over 600 volunteers working in a huge variety of functions and saving them over a £1M in wages. She said, “I am very impressed by the dedication and commitment shown by the staff and how they work symbiotically with all the volunteers”.
Mark Llewellin, The Vice Chair of Trustees, was also part of the team that welcomed the Lord-Lieutenant. Mark has been involved with Willow Wood for over 20 years; his late partner, the actor Roy Barraclough MBE was the first Patron. The Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Sharman Birtles, who is a current Patron was also present at the event.