The Treetops building in 1986

A history of Treetops Hospice Care, from 1983 to the present day.

Treetops Hospice Care grew out of a campaign for a hospice in the area of South East Derbyshire, started by Mrs Cally Cheetham in 1983, following her own experiences of caring for relatives suffering from cancer.

In 1984 the Draycott Hospice Association was formed with Cally as Company Secretary. Various fund raising activities took place and talks were held with the local Health Authority.

The building known as Treetops was purchased from Nottinghamshire County Council in 1986 (pictured above) It was paid for out of a legacy from Mr John Laver of Sandiacre, a benefactor who very sadly died within 7 months of becoming a member of the Association. Shortly after, Draycott Hospice Development Trust was started to raise the extra funds necessary to convert and extend the original building.

The Duchess of Gloucester visiting Treetops in 1990

The Duchess of Gloucester visiting Treetops in 1990

The Duchess of Gloucester unveiled a dedication stone at the building in July 1990. In 1991 a conservatory was added, a Nurse Manager appointed and volunteers trained, with the volunteer home sitting service starting in May and day care in August for one day a week.

In 1993, the Draycott Hospice Association and Development Trust merged to form Treetops Hospice Trust, to reflect the original name of the building.

In June 1994 a Hospice at Home service was launched to provide nursing care at home both for people needing respite care and those at the end of their life. By 1994 the Day Care service had increased to five days a week.

Nev and Cally Cheetham celebrating 5 years of Day Care in 1996

Nev and Cally Cheetham celebrating 5 years of Day Care in 1996

The hospice began offering complementary therapy and bereavement support in 2000.

In 2002 a Chief Executive (Clare Janes) was appointed and changes were made to the way the organisation was managed. A Clinical Services Director was appointed who has overall management of all the clinical services.

The Hospice was bequeathed a property in Sandiacre, Nottingham in 2008 and the first floor of the property was converted into a dedicated Bereavement Support Centre. The families bereavement service began later that year, followed by the addition of an art therapy service in 2009.

In February, Clare Janes retired from her position as Chief Executive, as she continued to fight cancer diagnosed in 2006. On 17 October, 2009, she passed away.

Later that year, current Chief Executive George Cameron was appointed.

The Day Care extension was completed in 2010.

The Day Care extension was completed in 2010.

Work was completed on the purpose built Day Care Centre in 2010 and it was officially opened by the Duchess of Gloucester in November. This and the alterations made to the existing building means that the number of people receiving day care has increased from a maximum of 54 per week to 115. The complementary therapy and art therapy services were also able to expand.

In April 2013, Treetops Hospice announced plans to build a new Clinical Support Centre on the grounds at Risley, following a successful grant application to the Department of Health.

In July 2014, the new Clinical Support Centre opened, named the Cheetham Centre after founder Cally Cheetham. It contains 5 adult bereavement counselling rooms and 3 family bereavement rooms. It also contains the Hospice at Home coordination hub, a large meeting room and, from 2015, a brand new service offering support and information from diagnosis onwards.

The Cheetham Centre opened in 2014.

The Cheetham Centre opened in 2014.

In October 2015, the organisation became Treetops Hospice Care, to challenge the common misconception that Treetops is a place where people go to die.

Looking to the next five years, Treetops Hospice Care will be responding to government end of life care initiatives to increase its service provision. It will give more people the choice to have care in their preferred place and ultimately to die at home if that is their wish. Treetops will also look to develop its spectrum of services, so that a more holistic approach is provided to the communities we serve.