A special 35th-anniversary celebration was held at the House of Lords to mark the achievements of St Luke’s Hospice in Harrow earlier this month.
The special occasion was organised by the founding Director and Patron of St Luke’s Hospice, Lord Popat of Harrow – the charity’s longest-standing supporter. Held on Wednesday 9 November in the famous Cholmondeley Room & Terrace, the event was described by St Luke’s ‘a memorable way to bring together key members of staff, trustees and funders to look back with pride on the Hospice’s achievements and milestones over the last 35 years, and to share their vision for the future.’
The event was attended buy 150 special guests, including the Mayor of Harrow, MPs, Councillors, NHS commissioners, plus many trust, community and legacy supporters of the charity.
In a touching moment, a local 11-year-old boy who had raised £1,000 for the Hospice spoke to the room and was delighted when Lord Popat matched his donation there and then with a cheque for £1,000! The invitees were also moved to hear from Nick Lakhani about how his mother found great comfort from the compassionate staff at St Luke’s during her final days and why he continues to find ways to show his appreciation for the care provided to her.
Lord Popat first became involved with the Hospice back in 1987, the vision was to fulfil the need for a hospice to provide free care and the best possible quality of life to the people of Harrow whose illnesses were no longer curable and during the final stages of their life. It began with a fundraising office and a single palliative care nurse in the community.
Commented Lindsey Bennister, St Luke’s CEO, “It is quite incredible to look back on our humble beginnings and reflect on the milestones that have brought us to where we are today and to celebrate that journey together with the community and Lord Popat, who has always been by our side. From the first charity shop in 1991 to daycare services and an Inpatient Unit and moving into Kenton Grange in 2000, it has kept on growing to include teams of doctors, nurses, events, fundraising and educational staff and volunteers and 18 shops.
“It is now serving the needs of the Harrow and Brent communities 7 days a week, caring for nearly 2,000 people a year at home, in care homes and in the Hospice. Just as the Hospice has grown, so too has the number of people needing our care.”
Lord Popat added, “St Luke’s Hospice is a charity that is close to my heart, and I am immensely proud to have been involved since its inception. It has been really inspiring to hear about all the help and care they have provided and to see how far they have gone beyond our original vision. It has also been wonderful to see the warmth and depth of support they have from so many people. Together, we can ensure that St Luke’s is supporting patients and families in our community to the same high standard for the next 35 years.”