More than 15 years on from the opening of the Angus hospice it supports, Forfar’s Lippen Care charity is looking firmly to the future.
The organisation raised a million pounds to build and equip the Strathmore Hospice at Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre.
It officially opened at the end of 2005.
Since then, a hard-working committee has continued to raise funds to support those facing their final days in the Forfar ward.
Like others, the charity says it has been hard hit by the pandemic.
But stalwart supporters kept money coming in during the coronavirus crisis and its own fundraising has restarted.
Lippen Care Chairperson Moira Nicoll said: “If you are not already a supporter of Lippen Care you may not be aware of all the ways in which we try to enhance the care and comfort of patients, families and carers in the hospice and the community.
“Our fundraising is vital to help us continue to support training of NHS staff in palliative care, maintain the Strathmore Hospice to a high standard and provide equipment to palliative patients in their homes.
“In October 2020, Lippen Care donated £5,000 to Marie Curie to ensure additional nursing hours were available in Angus to support terminally ill patients in their homes.”
Three years ago, the organisation paid for the first year of a senior palliative care nurse in a move described as the organisation’s most innovative development since its formation.
The hospice is a partnership with the NHS, which funds and provides nursing and medical care.
Moira added: “We have a small executive committee which meets regularly.
“The last 18 months have been hard for everyone and the Covid pandemic has impacted all of us.
“However, Lippen Care continues to commit to providing valuable palliative care within the local community.
“Our first 2021 fundraiser was a 15k walk in June which raised an excellent total of £1,670.
“Our next event is planned for the autumn and we look forward to welcoming people to it.”
An intricate patchwork quilt is currently being raffled by the charity.
It was hand sewn by the sister of Liz Forsyth, from Kirriemuir, who was involved with the charity from its early days and passed away last year.
A memorial tree to Liz has been planted in the hospice grounds. Tickets for the quilt raffle can be bought by contacting 01307 475256.
Lippen Care history
The initial steering group which would become Lippen Care was set up in 1993 following an unsuccessful community attempt to save the former Fyfe Jamieson maternity hospital in Forfar’s Taylor Street.
With the announcement of a new community health centre at Whitehills, the group embarked on several years of fundraising to build a hospice as part of the project.
It needed £750,000 for the capital project to create the hospice, but exceeded that target.
The Strathmore Hospice accepted its first terminally ill patient in April 2005 and was officially opened in December of that year.
The vast breadth of community fundraising which led to the creation of the hospice continues today.
Families whose loved ones have spent their final days in the compassionate surroundings of the hospice frequently donate funeral service collections to the charity.
Alongside the usual array of regular fundraising events such as sales and sponsored challenges, there have been many more out of the ordinary contributions.
Back in 2002, the late Lord Fraser of Carmyllie led a successful charity auction bid for a fiddle tune composed by Angus musician Sandy Ingram.
The one-time Lord Advocate and former Conservative MP was joined by two fellow Scottish law lords in securing the hornpipe composition, which they then called ‘Her Majesty’s Advocates’.
More recently, Kirriemuir Landward East community council donated the four-figure proceeds from sales of a lockdown project book of poetry.
The book’s popularity saw it re-printed after it was a sales success among locals and Angus ex-pats across the globe.