After the death of Audrey Appleton in 1981, her friends Glenda Lance and Dr Gill Collier launched an appeal to establish hospice services in and around Chelmsford. A steering committee was formed and the charity, named the Chelmsford Hospice Service, was registered in 1982.

The charity first established a sitting service, using volunteers to provide support and care for people living with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, and later appointed two Specialist Care Nurses.

In March 1984 Farleigh House, 212 New London Road, was purchased and over the next three years the building was redesigned to accommodate inpatient and day services. The building work was completed in July 1988 and in the following month the Day Hospice was opened. In September the Inpatient Unit was opened, initially with 6 beds and expanding to ten over the following year. In 1991 the hospice employed its first Community Nurse Specialist (sometimes referred to as Macmillan nurses).

To reach the wider community, a day hospice centre was opened at St Michael’s Hospital in Braintree in 1991. A second day hospice centre was opened in Heybridge, Maldon in 1995 and was known as St Clare's Day Hospice.

In 1996, the Chelmsford Hospice Service officially changed its name to Farleigh Hospice, named after the Farleigh House building the hospice was located in.

Although much loved by patients, volunteers and staff, it was apparent that our London Road site couldn't sustain future requirements and in 1997 the decision was taken to look for a new site and an appeal to raise £6m to build a brand new purpose built hospice was launched!

In 2001 St Clare’s Day Hospice was officially merged into Farleigh Hospice, later changing its name to Farleigh in 2006.

In 2006 we moved into a brand new building in North Court Road, Chelmsford. In the same year a new service called the Yo-Yo Project opened, to provide support to young people across mid Essex who are experiencing bereavement.

2008 was an especially exciting year which saw Farleigh Hospice Launch it’s HOP (Hospice Outreach Project) to replace the Braintree Day Hospice facility. This innovative venture was the UK’s first ever mobile hospice service.

In 2011 our Hospice at Home service began. Thanks to a grant from the Department of Health, combined with a bit of additional fundraising, an extension of the North Court Road site was completed and our bright and spacious Lantern Suite opened.

30 years of caring for life was celebrated in 2012, along with an exciting development within our adult bereavement service, Circle, which opened up to all adults across mid Essex, regardless of whether their loss related to a patient of the hospice.

Never an organisation to stand still, in 2013 we opened our 13th charity shop along with a rehabilitation suite at North Court Road – a self contained apartment which allows patients to build independence and confidence in a safe environment, before returning home. In collaboration with MEHT and Macmillan Cancer Support we launched an Information Pod in the atrium at Broomfield Hospital. This drop-in information service allows Farleigh Hospice to reach a wider audience and offer people the best services available to them, sooner after diagnosis.

 

Chelmsford Hospice with their Licence to Operate