Early hospice memories from Corrie Paxton

During St Wilfrid’s 40th anniversary year we are sharing some of the wonderful memories from our supporters, staff and volunteers about the times they have spent at the hospice. In the early 1980’s, Corrie Paxton was part of the committee that helped to set up the hospice. She has kindly shared her memories with us.

‘At the time the hospice was first set up, I was a Nursing Officer in the Community Services. It was a management role where I was responsible for the Health Visitors, making sure they had everything they needed, and if they had any problems, they’d come to me.

‘I was on the committee that got the hospice going, so I was very involved from the beginning. There was ten of us, all from different backgrounds.

‘A large house in Mill Gap Road was found and alterations were made to make it suitable. It was a lovely setting and they made they most of what they could with it. The first floor was for the patients; there was one room for men and another for women. The rooms downstairs were used for record keeping and other essential requirements. There wasn’t a lift at that point, so there was a lot of running up and down but everyone managed. The Nurses often took the patients down to the enjoy the lovely garden when they were well enough.

‘Everyone was delighted when St Wilfrid’s opened, and I was so pleased that my elderly father was one of the first patients there. I could no longer look after him as he required more care, so they transferred him over to the hospice from the Eastbourne DGH. He received wonderful care before he died and I was able to visit him often. I can still picture him there in the bed; it was the first one as you went through the door.

‘I am retired now, but I have continued to visit the hospice, and I was there at the opening of the new site. I was really excited to see it open. It’s a beautiful building and it’s been lovely to see the charity grow.

‘It was a great privilege to be involved.’

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