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Farleigh supporter runs the hospice for a day

Monday 9th May

  • The Lantern
  • Stories

A loyal Farleigh supporter has kindly donated the amount it costs to run Farleigh Hospice for one day in honour of her late parents.

Jenny Chittenden’s parents Bill and Betty were long-standing supporters of the hospice and were both cared for by Farleigh at the end of their lives. Jenny made the donation after her mother received care from the Farleigh care team in her nursing home.

Jenny’s mother sadly passed away in January, but Jenny has given us permission to share her parents’ fundraising story.

Betty and Bill Chittenden were life members of the ‘Friends of Farleigh Hospice’ fundraising group from 1988 onwards.

Bill was very active with voluntary work after he took early retirement in 1983, and was a charter member of Maldon Lions Club. Through this he was involved in many fundraising events in aid of the hospice and was featured in stories in both Farleigh’s supporter newsletter ‘Farleigh News’, and in the local media about these fundraising endeavours. Events such as the ‘Mile of Pennies’ event in 1984, organised by Richard Britton, President of the Lions Club.

In 1995, Bill was diagnosed with cancer and was referred to Farleigh. He was cared for by our Hospice at Home team, attended the Heybridge day hospice, as well as receiving care in our inpatient (IPU) at Farleigh in New London Road periodically for respite care. Bill sadly passed away in September 1995 and was at the hospice for the last three weeks of his life.

In a letter sent to Janet Curmi, Farleigh Hospice Matron in 1995, Betty said: “I wonder if anyone whose loved one comes to Farleigh is able to express properly their feelings about you all. So many of you, quietly and gently going about all manner of tasks, large and small, pleasant and difficult, all contributing in your own individual ways to the creation of a haven.

“I shall never find the words to tell you what it meant to me, each time Bill came to you, to hand his care over to you. ‘Thank you all’ is grossly inadequate, but that is what I say, truly, from the bottom of my heart.”

Betty was only 61 when Bill passed away, and after his death she volunteered at St Clare’s Hospice and was active in volunteering roles at a number of charity shops over the years. At the end of 2018, with her heart failure worsening, she was also referred to Farleigh.

Betty had great faith in the hospice and an inpatient stay in July 2019 really helped to improve her spirits and quality of life.

In June 2020 Betty went into a nursing home. Farleigh worked with her care team at the home, providing input into her symptom control, pain relief and medications. This approach ensured she received Farleigh’s specialist support in her final weeks without the need for admission to the hospice itself.

Such close working with local care homes is something Farleigh prides itself on and we have recently launched a dedicated care home support service, which enables local care homes to work more closely with us to improve access to palliative and end of life support for their residents.

For more information about Farleigh Hospice’s care home support service visit or email