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Hospice jubilee celebrations

PUBLISHED: 11:14 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:00 25 August 2010

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NEARLY 200 people attended the silver jubilee celebration of a charitable hospice that cares for people with life-shortening illnesses.

NEARLY 200 people attended the silver jubilee celebration of a charitable hospice that cares for people with life-shortening illnesses.

Volunteers and supporters of the EllenorLions Hospice attended a gala dinner at Acacia Hall, Dartford, to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Based in Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, EllenorLions 200-strong team cares for more than 2,500 people across north Kent and relies solely on donations.

Spokesperson Linda Trew said: "The evening was brilliant. We had a presentation looking back over 25 years of EllenorLions and the way the services have developed. People felt really moved and motivated by what they saw and heard. The service we offer to patients and their families has changed hugely. The biggest change, I think, is the introduction of children's hospice care. Now we care for 80 children at any one time

"We wanted to thank everyone for their huge generosity over the last 25 years and to ask them to continue to support us so we can continue the work that we do."

She added: "The meal was lovely and it was nice to have it at Acacia Hall, which is where the hospice was launched 25 years ago."

Having formed in 1985, The Lions Hospice started out with one nurse caring for five patients and merged with The Ellenor Foundation in 2007.

Carol Stone, who attended the celebration on Friday, joined the Lions Hospice as a nurse 22 years ago and has progressed to become the charity's chief executive.

Mrs Stone said: "Exciting and challenging times are ahead. The need for quality hospice care will always be there and with people living longer, it will grow.

"Our patient profile will change. Great developments in detection and treatment of cancers and increased public awareness should see a dramatic fall in cancer patients needing our care.

"But, there is a growing demand in other areas. For example, there is currently no specialised support for 'end-stage' dementia sufferers and their carers. Also, we have already seen big changes in the care of our younger patients who are now living longer thanks to advances in medicine. We have learnt a lot about developing services and sharing our knowledge with others - this will always be a big part of our work."

For more information, visit www.ellenorlioins.org.

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