Alice House Hospice would not be what it is today if it hadn’t been for the vision and determination of local mum-of-four Alice Bendle. In 1969, the 59-year-old was undergoing a routine hospital operation when doctors told her she may die.
"They say they feel like a person and that enables them to live again and that is what she believed was a very important part of the work we were here to do."
As her daughter, Lorna explains “Things really hit her then and she started asking questions like: What will happen to my children and my family? Does my family know? Will I ever see them again?”
Luckily for us all she recovered but the experience left her passionate about making sure that anybody facing a life-limiting illness would never be alone or in pain. Over the next ten years Hospice founder, Alice Bendle, argued her case to town leaders, business owners and residents, harnessed support and raised funds. Alice Bendle passed away in 1993 in the Hospice and Lorna, who is now Vice Chair of the charity’s Board of Trustees, believes her mother would be very proud of how the Hospice has developed.
“When I speak to the patients they tell me everything they could ever want is there for them, often before they need it, and most importantly no one at the Hospice defines them by their disease but as the wonderful individuals that they are. They say they feel like a person and that enables them to live again and that is what she believed was a very important part of the work we were here to do,” said Lorna.