Michael Sobell hospice: update

We have received the following update from Terry Dean on behalf of those co-ordinating the campaign:

The petition will be delivered to a representative of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust on the land just outside the gate 3 entrance of Mount Vernon Hospital on White Hill from 9 to 9:30am on Monday July 9th. I have cleared this with the police and invited them to join us.

I will be accompanied by Dr. Elaine Laycock MBE. Dr Laycock was one of the first doctors to work at the hospice soon after it opened. She used some of her time at MSH to help create the first Palliative Care Centre in Serbia which opened in 2013. She took staff from MSH to Serbia to teach them, and brought Serb doctors to MSH to learn. There are now two hospices in Serbia both based on the Michael Sobell model; it is ironic that there may soon not be one in Northwood unless we stand up for it. Dr. Laycock gained support from the Queen Mother who sent her a signed photograph (something almost unheard of) and also some cut-glass which raised a useful amount for the hospice when it was auctioned. Dr. Laycock also met the Duchess of Kent twice in her capacity at the hospice. Dr. Laycock instigated the original sponsored walk, the water garden at the entrance, and a butterfly cage which eventually became the aviary. Her son even designed the logo which is still in use.

Dr. Laycock and I will be meeting with Nick Hurd next week to discuss this campaign. I have in my possession a letter from Mr Hurd stating that he welcomes the Department of Health’s End of Life Care Strategy which encourages the development of specialist palliative care and hospice provision. If we are able to reach a target of 10,000 signatures we may be able to force a response from Westminster. At this stage we only need everyone who has signed so far to get one more signature! So please share this link if you have not already done so.


Finally I have received a message of support from a relative of Michael Sobell.

To remind yourself what we are striving to save please paste the address below into your browser to watch a short video made last year by media students of West Herts College.


Thanks for standing up for compassion and the need for members of society to care for each other.


July 7 Plants, Books, Coffee, Cakes…

On Saturday 7th July there will be a Coffee Morning with delicious homemade cakes, together with a Sale of Plants and Quality Books at the URC, running from 10am to 12 Noon

Admission free.

Plant sales have been doing very well this year and it hopes to see many of its regular customers again as well as some new ones.  On the book front it will have out the top end of the stock, with prices running from £1 each for quality paperbacks up to £5 and including books of local interest and a big collection of Sci-Fi paperbacks.

The URC is looking forward to an enjoyable morning, with proceeds divided between the church and our 2018 charities: Bereavement Care, SENSE [The National Deafblind and Rubella Association], The British Heart Foundation and Water Aid.

Hope to see you there!

If you have things to donate please bring them to the church between 3pm and 7pm on Friday 6th July or phone Richard Piper on 01895 634348 for collection.