Bolton Hospice's beginnings - Katie's story
Published to Other News on Jun 28, 2017
Katie has been volunteering for the hospice since we opened in 1992! She’s celebrating 25 years of service for Bolton Hospice.
“In early 1987 I was asked to go to a meeting at St Margaret’s to discuss the idea of starting a hospice in Bolton and by the time I left the meeting, I realised I had become the secretary!
There aren’t many people at the hospice now who know the beginnings; we started in a caravan on the site with just the Fundraising Director and another lady!
By May, someone had offered us their house so we could host a coffee morning and after this event, we had raised a little bit of money for the hospice. Through the year we hosted other coffee mornings and gradually raised some more money. By Christmas, the treasurer, who was very good with her hands, had made some toilet roll holders which we sold to raise a little more money and from that people began to offer us things to sell and it went from there!
The hospice was eventually opened in 1992. We bought the garden furniture, we furnished the chapel, put fridges in both wards and a lady made nightdresses for patients and curtains for the rooms with vacant/not vacant signs as we didn’t even have doors!
The fundraising committee thrived in the early years but I decided to leave as I wanted to volunteer in the hospice charity shop. Mollie Bentham bought the shop on Chorley Old Road and I started working in there. She was the backbone to the shops. Mollie and I went to Bury Road and opened a shop, Mollie worked upstairs and I was downstairs on the counter and doing the banking. Nowadays, I work Monday afternoons at the Chorley Old Road charity shop. I’m 88 now and I’m still here!
The main benefit of volunteering is the pleasure you get out of meeting people and the knowledge you are working for a charity. Plus when living alone, it is as much for your own benefit to be doing it as it benefits the hospice. I will continue as long as I live!”