Celebrating the 35th anniversary of St Luke’s Hospice
“Everybody that works at St Luke’s has St Luke’s in their hearts, and it is open to everyone. I knew right from the start that one of the most important parts of the care we gave was the little things. It is the little things that can make all the difference.”Ann Hatswell
Remarkably, this year is the 35th anniversary of St Luke’s Hospice! It is quite incredible to look back on its humble beginnings and reflect on the journey that has brought us to where we are today.
It all began back in 1987 when preliminary plans were first drawn up and offices were set up in St Augustine’s Church, Wembley and fundraising to set up the hospice began. By 1989 enough funds had been raised to start a home care service, with local GP Elizabeth Milne at the helm of the Hospice Medical Committee.
In 1990, 59 Harrow View was purchased as the site for St Luke’s day care service and it opened a year later with our co-founder, Ann Hatswell, welcoming in the first patient.
But it wasn’t until 1993 that the Kenton Grange building we all know and love was purchased and that is when the plans for the Inpatient Unit first began. The day care unit moved into Kenton Grange and patients started to be treated in a holistic, multi-disciplinary way.
In 1994 fundraising really took off, with local celebrity Bob Holness leading a public appeal to help develop Kenton Grange. Two years later the fundraising team launched their first long distance walk. Now one of the most popular events in our fundraising calendar, these campaigns helped develop Kenton Grange into the building it is today.
Complete with a 12 bed Inpatient Unit, a day care Unit to enable more patients to be treated than at Harrow View, education and training facilities, a base for homecare nursing teams, clinical support facilities and a first rate kitchen, St Luke’s was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2001. The grand opening was a tremendous and exciting occasion for patients, volunteers and staff – some of whom are still with us today and remember the event well.
With many new milestones met along the way since that day, including the launch of Patient and Family Support Teams, the Community Specialist Palliative Care Team, Hospice at Home, the Brent Carer’s Project, the opening of 18 charity shops, an Ebay shop, the Woodgrange Day Centre, The Care Home project, the Community Support Volunteer programme and many clinical innovations, the Hospice has been constantly evolving and striving to reach ever more people. We have cared for an estimated 14,550 patients to date.
In the most recent years, we are also enormously proud to have opened our Memory Garden. Generously supported by the Tasker family, the Memory Garden was created as a place for family and friends to visit to remember their loved ones, and feel connected with either the place where they died, or the wonderful support they were given whilst in our care. The garden is always open to visitors and is home to engraved bricks with personalised messages and rose plaques in memory of loved ones. It is also dedicated to Ann Hatswell, without whom, St Luke’s Hospice would not exist.
The garden was due to launch in June 2020 but this was postponed due to the pandemic. Sadly in November 2020, Ann Hatswell died here at the hospice, but she was able to know that the memory garden existed and there was a dedication in her memory just 24 hours before her passing. We officially opened the Memory Garden in the first week of July 2021.
As we embark on our 35th year we very much hope to start welcoming more of you back into the Hospice again and celebrating all that you have helped us to do across the years. Happy Anniversary St Luke’s!