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North London Hospice celebrates 20 years in North Finchley
Patients and staff sang happy birthday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of North London Hospice today.
Gathered round a cake the group belted into song as they commemorated the work that has been achieved since the hospice first opened in Woodside Avenue, North Finchley, in 1992.
The hospice has continued to grow and currently cares for approximately 1,350 patients with life-limiting illnesses a year, as well as their families and friends.
Chris Baxter, 55, has been medical director at NLH since its creation. He said: “The years have disappeared in a flash. The hospice has changed and developed and it’s great we’re still here working to help the community.
“I feel proud of what the whole team has achieved, including the paid staff and volunteers, and the community who support us. It’s a great privilege to be able to help patients and their relatives through very difficult times in their lives. I feel humbled.”
Patient Carole Matalon, 56, who has kidney cancer, said: "I have known the hospice almost from day one because I lived in Finchley when I was a child.
“I have seen it grow over the years but I didn't think I'd ever be a patient here. But since I've been here I couldn't have been treated better. The staff are absolutely wonderful. You only have to press a button and they're there.
“It's a lovely place to be if you have to be here."
It costs NLH £6million to deliver its services each year. The NHS funds 23 per cent of these costs but the remaining 77 per cent need to be met through fundraising.
As a result, the hospice relies heavily on volunteers, including 77-year-old Carol Halls who works once a week on the reception. She said: “I started coming here just a few weeks after it opened. It’s been such a friendly place to be – I have no intention of stopping any time soon.”
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