Our history

A history of more than 25 years

Thames Hospice has a rich history spanning 25 years. The charity was formed following the merger of Thames Valley Hospice in Windsor and the Paul Bevan Cancer Foundation in Ascot in 2005.

The two well-respected and highly regarded organisations joined together to form a new organisation in the interests of better and more seamless patient care. Here is the journey that brings us to the present day.

Thames Hospice milestones

The Paul Bevan Cancer Foundation

Following the death of her husband Paul in 1982, Mrs Penny Bevan Rahming formed The Paul Bevan Cancer Foundation in 1995. Penny, along with her husband's GP Dr Geoff Cook, knew there was a lack of day to day local support for people following a life-limiting diagnosis and set about finding a solution. The Paul Bevan Cancer Foundation was opened in Ascot on 15th May 1995.

Thames Valley Hospice

Thames Valley Hospice was founded by a group of dedicated persons from St Anthony's RC Church in Slough and the Justice and Peace Group of St Joseph's RC Church in Gerrards Cross.  Led by Dr Douglas Denny and his wife Pauline, the group recognised the need for a home from home for patients with a life-limiting illness, where the very best palliative care could be provided.   Thames Valley Hospice was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in November 1987. 

During the 1990s a number of services were developed at Thames Valley Hospice including bereavement support, education services for professionals and Hospice at Home.

It was following her visit to the hospice in 1991 that Anne the Duchess of Norfolk introduced Lady Diana to the work of Thames Valley Hospice, encouraging her to visit in 1992.

An extension is then added to the Hospice at Windsor to provide two more inpatient beds and Her Majesty the Queen made her second visit in October 2002.

The merger

The Paul Bevan Cancer Foundation and Thames Valley Hospice merged. With these two highly professional organisations operating just six miles apart from each other and caring for the same patients, it was a natural and obvious move to bring their services under one single organisation.

Windsor transferred its day-care service over to Ascot to provide a single place for day care services for local people with a life-limiting condition. 

Thanks to the generosity of external capital funders, and to meet the growing need for its services, a new reception area was opened in Windsor which met Dr Denny's original aim of providing a welcoming and friendly environment for patients and families from the moment they enter the Hospice.  This development also allowed for new counselling rooms in a quieter part of the building.

Ascot Community Service re-opened after a large refurbishment, enabling better facilities to provide comprehensive day services to local people with a life-limiting condition.  The same year, the Countess of Wessex also visited the Windsor Hospice.

The year of the Jubilee and The Olympics, the hospice celebrated 25 years.  As part of the many celebrations, Dr Denny and friends attended a Founder's supper at the beautiful Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park in June.  Her Majesty the Queen made her third visit to the Hospice to commemorate this fantastic occasion.

Thames Hospice is honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Equivalent to an MBE for groups, the award recognises the hard work of the 500+ volunteers that help keep its vital services running.

Thames Hospicecare becomes Thames Hospice and launches its new brand identity. Still the same organisation and providing the same high standards of care, the rebrand has taken place to ensure that the charity remains sustainable in a tougher external environment and ultimately, can provide more care to more patients, now and into the future.

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