Willen Hospice is calling on local people to help them create a lasting collection of memories and photographs to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

The brainchild of two local ladies, Dr Marjorie Reid and District Nurse Dorothy Jell, the charity opened its doors to patients in 1981. It was, and remains the only hospice for adults in the local area and has become a much-loved part of the community.

As the city celebrates #LoveMK Day, Chief Executive Peta Wilkinson is calling on people to share their Willen story, saying “We’re lucky to hear so many lovely comments about how we have cared for family members and friends with such compassion over the years. As we mark our special milestone, we’d like to hear some of the untold stories about Willen.

“Did we do something extraordinary for your loved one? Maybe you worked at the Hospice during tough times and found innovative ways to care over adversity? Were you involved in a Hospice ‘first’? If you have any interesting memories, we’d love to hear from you.”

The Hospice team has a number of old photographs, including those of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales and Princess Margaret, The Duchess of Kent, when they visited in the 80s and 90s, as well as many of fundraisers, staff members and volunteers who have made a difference during the last four decades. But they are hoping that local people can help fill in some gaps to tell the story of its history so far, which has only been possible thanks to the support of the community.

Peta continued, “Our nurses are very special people and we know they’ve gone over and above on countless occasions. For example when we turned our gardens into a beach, complete with a pantomime donkey, to make a patient’s last wish come true, and the numerous weddings they’ve held to ensure families can be together for such a special occasion. We’d love to hear more of these stories. Please do get in touch.”

The team hopes to use the memories to create a special collection that will displayed online and in hard copy for future generations to enjoy. If you can help, contact [email protected] or call 07538 836106 or 01908 663636.

Find out more about the other ways the Hospice will be marking its special anniversary at www.willen-hospice.org.uk