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Our History


Looking back: 1981-2016

 

The original Arthur Rank Hospice at 351 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3DF, until November 2016

Arthur Rank House was the brainchild of Dr David Bratherton, a therapeutic radiologist at Addenbrookes. Dr Bratherton, inspired by the work of Dame Cicely Saunders, felt that Cambridge needed somewhere better than the wards of the hospital for patients in the final stages of terminal illness. The site at Brookfields, where there had been a hospital since 1883, was chosen.

The first patient was admitted to Arthur Rank House in May 1981, and the Duchess of Kent officially opened the building on 15th October 1981. The Charity was founded by Christine McCrum at the same time, originally as a ‘Friends of’ group. The J. Arthur Rank Group of Charities donated £200,000 towards the costs and the Cambridge Cancer  Relief Appeal, under the Chairmanship of Sir Francis Pemberton, matched this sum. The outstanding balance (£130,000)  was met by the National Society for Cancer Relief and the then Cambridgeshire Area Health Authority (Teaching).

The Bernard Reiss Centre, again built with charitable funds,  was opened in 1995 as an extension to Arthur Rank House. The centre was funded jointly by Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund (who also provided the architects) and the Friends of Arthur Rank House. The £1 million appeal was launched in 1993, and just two years later the extension was formally opened by the Marchioness of Zetland.

The Arthur Rank Hospice Charity has continued to support activities that are additional to, and enhance, the NHS provision at the Hospice. Over the years, the Charity has moved from a Friends approach to a Company Limited by Guarantee with the objective of: Relieving sickness and suffering of people with life limiting conditions, and to assist their families or their carers in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding area. 

After a long period of planning and much hard work, the hospice became independent on 1 August 2015. We receive a contribution from the NHS allowing us  to have greater control and maximise the impact of our funds to ensure our patients and their families receive the best possible care. This was an important step towards our goal of opening a new purpose-built Hospice.

On 11 November 2016, doors opened to patients at our £10.5 million state-of-the-art facility which was designed with great consideration for the patient’s need, whilst the vastly improved facilities allow for increased service capacity. To find out more about the new hospice, click HERE

On the last day of delivering services at the original Hospice and as a lasting legacy, we welcomed staff to lay a time capsule before walking as a group to our new home.  More details of this and the Lantern Walk can be found HERE.

 
 

How your donations help

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  £50 covers the monthly cost of creative therapy sessions

  £60 funds post bereavement support for relatives and carers


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