“I was 25 when I first came on board. Treetops Hospice was a fledgling then, and a very wonderful lady called Lady Caroline Waterhouse asked me to get involved. She was a patron and full of drive and enthusiasm.
In those days, hospices, and the care that a hospice could provide, was quite new. I was very happy and keen to get involved. The hospice movement is terribly important, and both my wife and I felt it was a very interesting thing to do.
Everybody put such a huge amount of time and effort into getting the project going.
It was Cally Cheetham’s idea and dream really. Along with Cally and Nev Cheetham, there were marvellous people like Margaret Henry and John Shields who really put so much into it. They were the vital cogs in those early days.
And now 40 years later it's a huge success.
I can remember showing around the Duchess of Gloucester when she came to unveil a dedication stone.
There was a lot of work went into getting the place ready for her and quite a lot of people locally came to see her.
The Duchess was, and is, very behind the whole thing. Whenever I see her, she talks about it. She came again to open the Day Care Unit, quite a transitional moment for the hospice.
We wanted to do something which just gave everything a bit of publicity and lift. Her visit was a morale boost for everybody and a cog in the wheel that kept things going.
My message during the 40th year would be ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ from the bottom of my heart to everyone who’s been involved in Treetops Hospice over these 40 years.
It’s such a success and it’s wonderful to see how the hospice has grown into this hugely healthy and successful thing, which is of such benefit to the local community.
Happy birthday to Treetops and here's to the next hundred years.”