Dr David Cooper was looking after a young man called Brian Wyers, who had a terminal brain tumour, but the town had no hospice where he could be cared for and Dr Cooper was determined to change that.
Fundraising began and a group of four nursing Sisters and a social worker, based in an office above a shop in Devonshire Road, Blackpool, became the nucleus for what is today’s Clinical Nurse Specialist team, who visit patients across the community.
Land at Low Moor Road was earmarked as the site for Trinity and the Mayors of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre turned the first piece of earth with a three handled spade - something they repeated as the hospice grew. The spade is still here as a reminder!
With the hospice open the challenge was to raise money to develop it for the future – Friends of Trinity groups were started and continue with their fundraising efforts to this day and together they have raised well over £1 million since their inception.
The Day Hospice – now Day Therapy Unit – was opened by Princess Diana in 1992 and named after Louise Woolcock of Poulton, a dedicated cancer campaigner and fundraiser, who struck up a personal friendship with the Princess of Wales. It was a memorable visit for all concerned, and Diana returned in secret a little while after to spend a day with patients. Louise and her family have left Trinity a remarkable legacy.
In 1996 Brian House Children’s Hospice was opened alongside Trinity to provide care for local children with life-limiting conditions.
2001 saw the opening of The Linden Centre, just across the road from the main hospice. Here patients and their families – both adults and children - receive counselling around loss and bereavement. The land on which the Centre is built was left to Trinity in a Will; just one more amazing example of the generosity of local people.
Fast-forward to 2014, when the hospice was refurbished and remodelled, making it the modern facility patients and families see today. Later the same year we launched Hospice at Home, taking compassionate care into the community overnight and helping reduce unwanted hospital admissions.
From the beginning, Trinity’s amazing volunteers have given their time, talents and care for all our patients – there are receptionists, gardeners, hairdressers, craft therapists, flower arrangers, counsellors and event marshals – as well as those at the growing network of Trinity shops up and down the Fylde Coast.
Over 30 years on, the original vision for a hospice on the Fylde Coast is testament to all who have gone before. Dr Cooper used the words of Dr Albert Schweitzer to sum up the original Trinity mission: ‘Here, at whatever hour you come, you will find light and help and human kindness’.
The hospice has grown and continues to evolve as it strives to ensure that everyone on the Fylde Coast has access to the best palliative and end of life care.