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Fond tributes paid to Trimar Hospice ahead of summer move

Staff and volunteers gathered to remember 23 years of Trimar Hospice

With Weldmar Hospicecare’s move to the new Trimar House site later this summer, former and current staff and volunteers gathered for a special afternoon tea to remember their time at Trimar Hospice today.

The Greenhill based building has been home to hospice Day Services since 1996, but these will relocate to the former school site on Cromwell Road in Weymouth, which is currently being renovated into what will be known as Trimar House.

This August, Day Services will join head office operations such as Finance and Fundraising in the former school and Horizon building in Cromwell Road, which will be known at Trimar House.

Mary Lem was based in Rutland when she noticed a tiny classified job ad in the Nursing Times, looking for someone to take on the challenge of running a new hospice in Weymouth.  Despite not knowing anything of the town, and even breaking down in her car on the way to her interview, Mary became the very first Matron.

“It was amazing in those early days”, says Mary, “we very much pioneered the holistic side and complimentary therapy.  We really had to sell day care and the benefits of day care, and forge relationships with Joseph Weld Hospice, which had opened two years previously.  It was a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun, a lot of laughing, and a lot of innovative work from everybody.”

Celia Canter was General Manager for four years in those early days.  “We did it pretty well, with aromatherapists, visitors could take a bath and get their hair washed, ladies could get their nails done, we’d just got a minibus so we could do day trips, we did cream teas, we did diversional therapy, and lots of activities here and set the scene for hospice daycare.”  Celia also reveals she had her tonsils out when the building was an ear, nose and throat hospital, at the age of four!

In fact, the medical history of the building, originally called “Messandra” goes back to the First World War when it was used to provide care for sick and terminally ill soldiers.

The name ‘Trimar’ was created to commemorate three people who had died in hospital – whose names had all included ‘mar’ (Martin, Marjorie and Mark) – hence ‘Trimar’.  A committee, and a charitable trust in that name, was formed in 1985 by the loved ones of the three ‘mars’, chaired by Rosemary Hardwicke, with the intention of creating a small care facility for the terminally ill, which would provide dignified and compassionate care for patients.

Weldmar Hospicecare’s CEO Caroline Hamblett thanked the staff and volunteers for their time at the hospice.  “It’s an absolutely beautiful building, it’s done us proud, but as our patients have got more dependent, the wheelchairs we use get more complex, with the small lift we’ve got in the building, it really isn’t working for us anymore.  It’s sad to see it go, but there are new beginnings with Trimar House, we’re taking the name with us, and it’s wonderful to see people who’ve been here for 23 years here today.”

Pat Scarlett has been a volunteer fundraiser for the hospice since it opened, and there used to be a fundraising office in the basement of Trimar.  She had organised a dance to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary, which went so well that someone suggested she do a similar event to raise money for the hospice, which she did for eighteen years.  The proceeds would go towards buying various things that were needed, from airbeds to televisions to oxygen units.  “I just help wherever I can.  These days it’s things like Midnight Walk, Colour Run and Bubble Rush, and this Sunday I’ll be in Borough Gardens at 7am to help sign people in for the Great Dorset Cycle Challenge.”

Staff and volunteers from over the years were treated to a delicious buffet supplied by Zest – run by Weldmar Hospicecare, food created by our team of talented chefs, with all profits ploughed back into the charity.  You can book Zest for weddings, parties, funerals, and corporate events.

 

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