We recently welcomed the family of the late Reverend Leslie Jell, who visited the Willen Hospice Peace Garden to hang a leaf on the Tree of Life in his memory.

Les’ son Peter, Peter’s wife Elaine, Les’ daughter Gloria and her husband Maurice all gathered to take a moment to remember Les, who sadly died in November 2022.

Les was the first Chairman and the first General Manager of the Hospice, and his first wife, Dorothy, was one of our co-founders. In the late 1970s, they went to see a rundown farmhouse at Willen that was for sale. The stunning views of the lake convinced them that it would be the perfect site for the new hospice they were planning.

Because Les played such a huge role in developing the Hospice as we see it today, we were honoured to also plant a rose in his honour. Our gardener, Tom, chose a sunny spot in the courtyard herb garden, adjacent to our café and the new extension to the Hospice.

Look out for the rose’s vibrant pink petals if you walk past in early summer. Soon we’ll be adding a plaque in front of the rose engraved with a poem Les’ family found amongst his papers and felt was relevant.

Memories are the loveliest things,

They last from day to day.

They can’t get lost,

They don’t wear out,

And can’t be given away.


“It’s comforting for the family to know that there is a rose planted in Dad’s memory in a place he dedicated so much of his life to and in a place with a view of the lake,” said Peter.

Les’ grandchildren are continuing his legacy by taking part in fundraising challenges for us. Gloria’s son Andy recently completed the London Marathon and Peter’s daughter Hazel is busy training in preparation for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2024.

Special thanks to Frosts Garden Centre, who were moved to kindly donate the rose when Gloria visited the Woburn Sands store to ask for assistance in choosing a variety.

If you’d like to add a personalised, engraved leaf to our Tree of Life in memory of your loved one, you can find out more here. By creating your tribute and making a donation, you’ll be helping us provide care for local people when they need it most.