A history we are proud of and a future we look forward to.
The early years
Thames Valley Hospice, as the charity was first known, was founded by a group of dedicated people 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. After many years of tireless campaigning through the 1970s and 1980s, Thames Valley Hospice was officially opened at Pine Lodge on Hatch Lane in Windsor by Her Majesty the Queen in November 1987.
During the 1990s a number of additional services were developed including bereavement support, education services for professionals and Hospice at Home.
An extension was added to the Hospice in Windsor to provide two more inpatient beds and Her Majesty the Queen made her second visit in October 2002.
Following the death of her husband Paul in 1981, Penny Bevan Rahming, along with her husband's very good friend, local GP Dr Geoff Cook, set about finding a solution to a lack of day-to-day local support for people following a life-limiting diagnosis. The Paul Bevan Cancer Foundation was formed and Paul Bevan House was opened in Ascot on 15th May 1995 by Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, following tremendous support from the local community.
In 2005 The Paul Bevan Cancer Foundation and Thames Valley Hospice merged to form Thames Hospicecare. With these two highly professional organisations operating just six miles apart from each other and caring for the same patients, it was a natural move to bring their services under one single organisation, providing more seamless patient care.
In 2012, 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.
In 2013 Thames Hospicecare launched its new brand identity to become Thames Hospice. During the same year Thames Hospice was 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.
In 2016, recognising the urgent need to provide more care to more people, the Hospice’s Board of Trustees and Senior Management Team launched an ambitious five-year strategy focussing on its expansion plans.
In 2017 Thames Hospice was granted planning permission to build a new £22 million state-of-the-art facility on an eight-acre site by Bray Lake, in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
In January 2019 work began on the construction of the new hospice and later that year 'Raise the Roof', the most ambitious public fundraising appeal in the charity’s 30-year history, launched to help raise the final £3 million needed to complete the build of the new facility.
A new era of hospice care
After more than four years of meticulous planning and construction, coupled with a challenging 12 months during the coronavirus pandemic, Thames Hospice welcomed its first patients and visitors to its new facility on 12 October 2020, creating a centre of excellence for modern hospice care. The new facility means that Thames Hospice is able to provide world-class care and support to twice as many people at every stage of their life-limiting condition now and for generations to come.
Thames Hospice was rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in October 2021, following an inspection of its state-of-the-art facility by Bray Lake.
On 15 July 2022 Her Majesty The Queen officially opened Thames Hospice’s new state-of-the-art facility, accompanied by HRH The Princess Royal. During the royal visit Her Majesty unveiled a plaque in the presence of staff, volunteers and supporters, as well as patients and their loved ones being supported by the Hospice. The plaque has been mounted at the heart of the Hospice to mark The Queen’s long-term support of the charity.
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Our services are free of charge to all those in our community who need vital hospice care but this is only made possible through the charitable support and generosity of our amazing community. We need to raise £38,363 each day to fund our services 365 days a year to the people who need us most.
We’ve never needed you, our wonderful supporters, more than we need you today. Please donate what you can to help keep hospice care available for those in desperate need.