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35 years ago today
35 years ago today (1 May, 1984), Sister June Storey became the Hospice’s first community nurse.
Sister Storey began providing end-of-life care for people at home after our founder, the late Rev Canon Richard Norburn’s wanted his vision of ‘something better’ for those living with dying, death and grief, to become a reality.
Richard’s work as an Anglican minister out in the Suffolk community led him to meet people struggling with the lack of support for their end-of-life care needs. For example, he met a woman still in her own home who was being looked after with great difficulty by her disabled husband and a farmer who was in and out of the hospital to have his medication monitored.
No time was wasted in reaching those who needed care and as a way of moving Richard’s vision forward, the West Suffolk Health Authority seconded Sister Storey to the Hospice to enable her to pioneer the home care (continuing care) team. June had an office in the Blomfield House Health Centre in Bury St Edmunds and in January 1985, she was joined by Sisters Eunice Joseph and Shirley Walker.
Meanwhile, Richard, Reverend Sally Fogden and Dame Miriam Hubbard, with the backing of the Suffolk community, began an official appeal to raise £1.2 million to purchase a hospice building.