Butterfly Hospice brainchild ‘excited’ to see in-patient dream come true

Sue Wray
Sue Wray

The brainchild behind plans for a hospice offering care in Boston says she is ‘excited’ by news that it can now take on in-patients for the first time.

Former trust chief executive Sue Wray hailed the news that the Butterfly Hospice will now be able to take on in-patients following a three-year deal with Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.

The hospice dream began in 2000 when Mrs Wray, now a county councillor, had her eureka moment sitting at her kitchen table and phoned around to set up the first meeting.

She said: “I’m really, really excited. When I first organised that meeting in Boston, although I had a vision of what I wanted to see I never imagined it was going to take quite so long. I first started with just an idea and a vision on the kitchen table. I phone round and said I think if the community et behind this it could work.

“At that stage I and no-one else had any idea what we were letting ourselves in for. If we had I think we would still have continued.”

“It’s absolutely brilliant but the credit has to go to the community because without the fundraisers and their support it would never have happened.

“It’s a community effort through and through, and now the community are going to get the beds they deserve.”

She added: “At one stage we had 200 nearly 300 volunteers working either in the shops, or in the hospice.”

She said Princess Anne opening the building in 2011 was a great honour, adding: “The fact she came, she came for the volunteers, and the general public that had put the time and effort in. We’re very pleased she came when she did because they needed the credit.”

She paid tribute to volunteers who had died but had given ‘an awful lot of their time.’

“One was Pat Baxter, sadly she hasn’t lived long enough to see it open which is dissapointing because Pat put a lot of time in and a lot of work.”

She said the delay following the opening was ‘unfortunate’ but said they had ‘needed funding at a time when funding changed’ with the NHS moving from from Primary Care Trusts to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG).

When the news broke, volunteer Jane Parsons wrote on Facebook: “Just had the best news! The Butterfly Hospice is opening to in-patients in the summer! It’s official! Now’s the time to get behind us and work for those living with life limiting illnesses in our area. I could cry with happiness!”

Long-term plans for the Butterfly Hospice include opening three buildings with a garden in the middle.

Chief executive Judi Byrne said it is still hoped to move on to phases two and three – which have planning permission – and the idea now was to work with the NHS and public to plan what the best use for the facilities was.