We’re marking the 20th anniversary of when our Guildford hospice, Christopher’s, first opened its doors. With our Hampton hospice, Shooting Star House set to celebrate its 17th anniversary we wanted to look back at some of our key moments that have shaped the charity.
Our story and support began in the early 90s, many years before both our hospices had been built. CHASE and Shooting Star Trust began as separate charities set up to provide community-based support for families with a life-limited child throughout the south-east, at a time when there was no comparable service.
Land was made available to start building our Guildford hospice in 1997, thanks to the generosity of our patrons Michael and Sarah More-Molyneux, with Christopher’s hospice named in memory of their son.
Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex, officially opened Christopher’s and she remains our Royal Patron to this day, most recently visiting Shooting Star House to meet some supported children and their families for a Valentine-themed afternoon.
After seven years of capital fundraising, Shooting Star Trust reached its target in order to build a hospice in Hampton. In 2005 Shooting Star House opened, welcoming its first supported child, Jordan, and her family on 5 August. We went on to support Jordan throughout her childhood and adolescence until she reached 21 and left our service in 2020.
2011 marked a key moment of our story when Shooting Star Trust and CHASE merged to become Shooting Star Chase, paving the way for increases in our care and expertise. Over the coming years we grew our community services, providing 800 hours of care a month to families.
Many families say what they particularly love about being at our hospices is how at home they feel, whilst also having access to specialist equipment and facilities enabling the very best medical and holistic care. Both hospices have had refurbishments and renovations throughout the years to ensure they remain welcoming, bright and comfortable places for the families we support.
The past two years have presented many challenges, particularly around ensuring we continue to safely deliver our services vulnerable families, and for a short period we had little choice but to close Shooting Star House in Hampton, transferring those services to Christopher’s in Guildford.
Last summer we were thrilled to reopen Shooting Star House as our Outreach, Therapy and Family Support Centre, offering a full range of therapies and support for the whole family.
OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES WE HAVE
Tens of thousands of people have been a part of our charity’s story over the last two decades, from the children, siblings, parents, and grandparents, to all those that have volunteered and generously contributed with funding, thank you. We are only here because of you.
This article is from our Summer 2022 edition of Shine. Read more from the digital version here. If you’d like to receive our printed Shine magazine, which comes out twice a year, these are sent to everyone who has made a donation within the last 12 months, and opted in to receiving post.