ellenor ‘delighted by wonderful gift’ after trust donates hospice’s land

ellenor 'delighted by wonderful gift' after trust donates hospice's land
PAVING THE WAY: A commemorative plaque is unveiled by Linda Trew, Director of Income Generation at ellenor, Colyer-Fergusson trustee Roger Wedderburn-Day and Chief Executive Jacqueline Rae, Chairman of Trustees Nicholas Fisher, and Vikki Harding, ellenorï

The trust first offered the site to the Lions Club in 1991 as a suitable location on which to place the hospice in Gravesend, at a peppercorn rent.

Thanks to that initial support, ellenor was able to be built, opening its doors to care for terminally ill adults and to support their families.

Since those early days the hospice has grown, and ellenor last year provided hospice care to 2,874 local babies, children and adults facing terminal illness, in the home and at the hospice.

The trust was set up by Sir James Colyer-
Fergusson, whose family estate included Ightham Mote, to provide grants for a wide variety of projects across Kent.

It was established to tackle socio-economic issues, from helping individual young people looking for employment to funding multi-million pound community developments.

Vikki Harding, the charity’s new interim Chief Executive, said: “Colyer-Fergusson have always been there, a quiet, valued supporter in the background.

“So when we heard that as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations they wanted to sign the land over to ellenor, we were surprised and delighted. What a wonderful gift!”

She added: “The demand for our hospice care is growing. Our population is increasing and people are living longer, often with complex or multiple needs.

“To meet the growing demand we need to look to expand our services and build for the future.

“With the land being gifted to us, it will enable us to grow and develop the site in confidence, knowing we are rooted, secure in our foundations in Northfleet.”

Of the trust she said: “It has been a wonderful partnership over the years and we have been so grateful for all the support they have given.”

Ms Harding is ellenor’s Director of Care, having joined the charity last July from the North-East London NHS Trust, where she was an Assistant Director.

She has been a registered nurse for 35 years, specialising as a respiratory nurse consultant in the holistic care of patients with lung diseases.

She said: “It is an honour and a privilege to lead such a fantastic team of skilled professionals, and together we will continue to work hard to deliver the very best care and support to patients and their families in Kent.”

Roger Wedderburn-Day, Chair of ellenor’s trustees, said: “Vikki will provide us with leadership continuity during this busy and exciting period for the charity.”

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