Heart of Kent Hospice first opened its doors in 1991 as a result of the dedication of local people who set up the ‘Wishing Well Appeal’ to raise £1.3m to build the Hospice.
HRH Diana Princess of Wales officially opened the Hospice in October 1992.
From small beginnings with only four inpatient beds the Hospice has gone from strength to strength, through the commitment and hard work of its staff and volunteers, and the invaluable financial support of its local community.
Since the Hospice opened it has cared for almost 10,000 patients and their families. Last year over £4million was raised through the huge generosity of local people who have; run, swam, walked, cycled, organised events, made a donation or climbed mountains to ensure that we can be there for everyone who needs us.
In 1992 the Hospice opened its first retail shop in Maidstone and in 1994 it set up the Heart of Kent Trading Ltd. to take over the trading activities of the Hospice. It now has 14 charity shops within the local area that provide a valuable source of income for the Hospice.
In 2007 we received a grant from the Department of Health to extend the Inpatient Unit and Day Therapy Centre, which was officially opened by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester in 2009 following an 18 month programme of refurbishment. This was closely followed with further funding from the Department of Health in 2010 to create a new garden room, an attractive landscaped garden, more welcoming reception area and additional consultation and therapy rooms. These improved facilities were opened in 2011 by the Bishop of Rochester.
We are very proud that many of our colleagues and volunteers have worked for the Hospice since it opened in 1991. Over the years thousands of individuals have helped shape the Hospice but our core purpose has always remained the same, to provide compassionate end-of-life care, free of charge, to everyone who needs it.