40 Years of Caring

For the last forty years, the Charity has been there to support the Cambridgeshire community to make every moment count and plans to continue doing so. 

7 females under umbrellas looking at plans outside
Staff visiting the site where the new Hospice will be built
Yellow machines and building with scaffolding
Hospice Build in construction
White building with half wood cladding and grass
The new Hospice complete from the garden
Earl of Wessex at Arthur Rank Hospice . Picture: Keith Heppell
Patients meet Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity
Barbara with patient

Our Ruby Anniversary

Celebrating the years that have gone before, gives us the chance to reflect on the thousands of patients we have supported during that time, and the many ways in which we have been there to assist them and their families – a caring hand to guide them through holistic care plans; creating strong relationships to support people to achieve their end-of-life wishes.

Outstanding care for patients and their families

Helping patients to live fully and achieve a good death has always been our goal. We strive for outstanding care and have been supported by the most wonderful and skilled colleagues.


We have partnered with organisations who have helped shape our services, and groups and individuals who have raised significant funds. Those funds have contributed to our history of establishing purpose-built hubs and investing in our care services.

Extending our care 

We have expanded significantly over the last forty years, increasing our in-patient unit beds from just 12, at the original site at Arthur Rank House, to 23 at our current Hospice. Recognising the need for our care in the community to reach the greatest proportion of our patients.

We have extended our reach to the north of the county through the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre and are supporting many more patients in their own homes in the north and the south.

Thank you to our community 

Our community have continued to support us through recessions, political changes and, more recently, the pandemic. We could not have achieved all that we have without the help from individuals, dedicated families, local businesses and larger organisations.

At this moment, as we take a pause, we would like to say “thank you” wholeheartedly for being there for us. As we turn to our next chapter, covered by our latest five-year strategy, and continue to face the current uncertainties, we are so grateful to have you here with us. #TeamArthur.

Sponsor  a Nurse

Nurses have been at  the core of our hospice care throughout our history and continue to be a significant proportion of our workforce. They need to have many skills, frequently caring for more people with very complex medical needs. Our compassionate clinical teams comprise of 73 nurses and a further 76 healthcare professionals, including Healthcare Assistants, Doctors and Consultants.

Increased demand

Due to an aging population, there will be far greater demand for these services in the future. By 2040, the number of people dying in England is expected to have increased by 25%. This, in turn, is likely to see the number of people with advanced illnesses and those requiring the support of a hospice at the end of life grow, and we recognise nurses will be vital in meeting this need.

How you can support

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we are asking our supporters to sponsor a nurse. Regular donations will help to fund the important work of our nurses now, and help us to care for people in the future. Our next chapter needs your ongoing support; it will be very much valued by us all but, more crucially, by those we will care for.

san logo and images of nurses`

40 Faces of Care


White booklet 5 images of males and females 40 Faces of CareTo commemorate our 40th Anniversary we asked 40 people (and some other important characters!) if they would like to share their unique memories of the Charity. We would like to say a big thank you to all those who took part. 

You can download a PDF copy of the 40 Faces of Care booklet here or call 01223 675888 if you would like a printed copy.  

History Timeline

2022 - 40 Years of Caring and the Palliative Care Hub phoneline expands to 24 hour service

It has been 40 years since the Hospice was first commissioned on 19 April 1982. We are proud to have been caring for our community for over 40 years 

We are proud to host the Palliative Care Hub 111 (Palliative and End of Life Care) enabling patients and their carers 24 hour support

The phoneline is a free, out of hours, phone service available to patients, relatives, friends and all healthcare professionals providing specialist advice and support to those with life limiting illnesses

The Help at Hand community app launched providing a website and mobile app to help the community access practical and emotional support. 

Also the Palliative Care Hub out of hours free phone service launched

Our team at our Education and Conference Centre were proud to partner with Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge to deliver a new Palliative Care module to MA students

Caring Communities, first volunteer starts before the COVID-19 pandemic moves services to remote engagement

Our Hospice at Home Team expands to include both day and night Care

Our Retail Hub in Sawston opens to include 2nd hand furniture and household items 

The Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre starts Community Specialist Palliative Care Service and the First president, Lady Chadwyck-Healey was appointed

Our CEO Lynn Morgan, MBE, retired after successfully overseeing the build and move to the new Shelford Bottom site.

We welcomed our new CEO Sharon Allen, OBE, to lead our Charity

HRH Prince Edward officially opened the new hospice and the first patients were welcomed to the new *Day Therapy (*later renamed Living Well 2021)

We were delighted that His Royal Highness, the Earl of Wessex Prince Edward officially opened our new home on 19 January 2018.

As well as visiting the Living Well Service (previously called Day Therapy) and the Inpatient Unit, he chatted to patients and staff (who were thrilled to meet him), signed our Founders Book and unveiled a plaque to mark the special occasion. 

New Cottenham Charity Shop opens and is still supported by lots of visitors.

MND clinic runs hosts first session at the Hospice (previously held at Addenbrookes Hospital)

New Hospice Building Opens at Shelford Bottom and later wins East Awards ‘Community Benefit’ Award and ‘Project of the Year’

Our brand new £10.5 million state-of-the-art facility opened to patients. The building which was designed with great consideration for the patient’s need, whilst the vastly improved facilities allow for increased service capacity. 

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.  

The Education and Conference Centre hosts it’s first clients

7 May Work starts on new Hospice building

1 August Hospice becomes independent August Arthur Rank Hospice takes over management of Hudson Centre in Wisbech (since renamed as the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre)

14 December Topping out ceremony at the new Hospice

Furniture shop moves  to former Romsey Mill Labour Club

22 December Planning permission granted for new Hospice

25 November Site for new hospice at Shelford Bottom announced

We rebranded to our current logo keeping our slogan ‘Making Every Moment Count’ 

Furniture Shop opens temporarily in former Royal Standard pub on Mill Road 

Mill Road Charity Shop opens and Arthur Rank Hospice Charity  becomes a Company Limited by Guarantee

New Arthur Rank Hospice Charity logo introduced

External funding for Hospice at Home withdrawn;  Arthur Rank Hospice Charity  agrees to take service on.

Library opens after a fundraising campaign by Saffron Walden Golf Club.

Friends of Arthur Rank becomes Arthur Rank Hospice Charity

4 October Jo Lustig garden opened by Sir Derek Jacobi

June Bernard Reiss Centre opened  by the Marchioness of Zetland

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. 

September  Bernard Reiss Centre officially opens for Day Therapy patients

Our Regent Street charity shop opens

Hospice at Home set up, with initial funds from NHS 

Marie Curie Fundraising starts for Bernard Reiss Centre (Day Therapy)

AprilLymphoedema Clinic set  up as pilot study. 

Friends logo introduced

First newsletter for the friends  of Arthur Rank House &  Brookfields hospital published

Dame Cicely Saunders gives a talk in Cambridge to mark the beginning of a new Hospice presence

5 May Completed building handed over

14 May First patients welcomed to Hospice

15 October  Official opening by the Duchess of Kent Friends of Arthur Rank House and
 Brookfields hospital formed by Dr David Bratherton (first Medical Director)

The first patient was admitted to Arthur Rank House and the Duchess of Kent officially opened the building on 15 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). 

First sod for new Hospice site at Brookfields cut by Sheila Hancock at the Topping out ceremony by Lady Todd

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. 

Discussions start about hospice provision in Cambridge