Pauline Smith and her sister were in for a surprise in 1979

“My sister and I drove all around the local area looking for a care home for an ill relative, when we heard about Willen Hospice. Little did we know that it was still being built!

“Someone pointed us in the direction of the farm house and when we arrived we hitched up our skirts and tramped over a building site, stumbling over bricks and rubble in our high heels and tights. We came face to face with a surprised couple of builders who showed us that only the foundations had so far been laid! It’s hard to believe that where the lake is now was just farmers’ fields.

“Sadly, in 2003 my husband Arnold was admitted to the Hospice and the staff couldn’t have been kinder or taken better care of him. On one occasion there were about a dozen of us, friends and family, all in his room which overlooked the carpark. Some were sitting on the bed, others perched on the windowsill, and the nurses brought us all tea and delicious homemade cake.

“It’s wonderful to hear that once your new extension is complete all the rooms will have lake views and families will have more space to spend time together.”

Read more about our 40th Anniversary here