Hospice installs commemorative ‘Legacy Tree’

The Legacy Tree sculpture at the new NI Hospice facility in north Belfast. INNT 28-516CON
The Legacy Tree sculpture at the new NI Hospice facility in north Belfast. INNT 28-516CON

A commemorative Legacy Tree sculpture has been installed at the newly opened state of the art NI Hospice facility in north Belfast.

The bespoke sculpture, which sits in the new reception area, publicly recognises the generosity of local people who have kindly left a gift to Hospice in their will. Each individual who remembers Hospice in their will has their name specially inscribed on one of the leaves on the tree.

Gifts in wills are vital to the growth and development of hospice services, funding the care of around 1 in 5 Hospice patients. And, with an ageing older population and an increase in non-malignant illnesses such as dementia, there are greater challenges than ever before on hospice services.

Sharon Gorman, Legacy Officer said: “Planning for the future is important for each and every one of us as we wish to protect and provide for the people we care about.

“However, it is a sad fact that only three per cent of people here have an up-to-date will. Having a will is the only way to fulfil your final wishes and ensure that your loved ones are looked after as you would wish.

“Research shows that 60 per cent of people support a charity during their lifetime but just seven per cent of people here actually leave a gift in their will to a charity. It is our hope that, after providing for your family, you will also consider leaving a gift to Hospice.

“Every gift in every will makes a real difference to our patients and their families at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.

“It will give hospice patients better choices, hope, support and specialist care long after your lifetime. There is no better gift.”

She added: “The Legacy Tree sculpture is a beautiful tribute to those people who have left a gift to Hospice in their will. Their generosity is greatly appreciated and their legacy of hospice care will enable us to transform the lives of local patients both now and in the future.”

Following years of planning and fundraising, NI Hospice recently opened a new state of the art adult hospice to meet the palliative and end of life care needs of the next generation. The new dementia friendly hospice has been designed to care for people with complex needs and the growing numbers of people in need of end of life care.

The new hospice consists of 18 modern single en-suite rooms, a Day Hospice and Out Patient Clinics, Community Nursing Hub, Education and Research Centre as well as peaceful gardens; a children and relatives area; a sanctuary and Chaplain’s room and space where patients and families can relax together during this important time.

Northern Ireland Hospice cares for 3,000 adults with life-limiting illnesses and their families each year.

Demand for NI Hospice services is increasing and the charity is now caring for over 90 per cent of patients in their own homes.

Whilst Hospice care is free to the patient, it is not free to provide and the charity relies heavily on support and donations from the public.

It costs £6m per annum to run Northern Ireland adult hospice care services.

To find out more about leaving a gift in your will or further information about the Legacy Tree call Sharon on 028 9078 1836 or e mail sharon.gorman@nihospice.org