A CHARITY which has helped provide palliative and end of life care and support to more than 20,000 people across Dorset is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Friends of Forest Holme, as it was first known, started to fundraise for the work of Forest Holme, part of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, in 1994 – the year the Channel Tunnel officially opened, Forest Gump was a box office hit and Wet Wet Wet spent 15 weeks at number one.

Since then the Forest Holme Hospice Charity has grown to meet the increasing demand for the hospice services, led by a team of specialist doctors, nurses, counsellors and specialist care teams who provide practical and emotional support for adults of all ages and their families in a variety of settings, such as their own home, nursing home, care home, in Poole Hospital or in the hospice itself.

To coincide with its anniversary, the charity has also announced details of a number of fundraising events and initiatives taking place throughout the year, which includes becoming a member of its 25 Club through the 25th anniversary appeal, a ‘25km For 25 Years’ challenge and the chance to win a diamond ring worth over £1,200 in a Grand Prize Draw, while tickets for The Secret Garden Party in June are already on sale.

Forest Holme Hospice Charity needs continued local community support to raise £1.6m over the next two years. Additional funding is required to support all aspects of the hospice including the in-patient ward, the purchasing of specialist equipment, education, the funding of additional staffing posts, complementary therapies, and the bereavement counselling service.

Charity manager Anne Currie said, “We want to use the 25th anniversary as a time to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last quarter of a century, remember all those whose lives touched by Forest Holme, thank everyone who has been a part of making the hospice what it is today and get ready for whatever the future might bring.”

Visit forestholmehospice.org.uk to help celebrate the hospice’s 25th Anniversary and learn more about the work of the charity.