Image of a smiling hospice at home nurse

Your memories

50 years of loving care. 50 years of St Barnabas House.


Thank you to everyone who’s shared their experience of St Barnabas House with us!

We’ll be sharing more of your precious memories over on social media, as well as giving you the opportunity to meet our friendly clinical team – so don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all the updates.

Below you can read some of your memories – and why not get in touch to share your own – we’re always keen to hear from anyone with a story to tell about their experience with St Barnabas House.


Tandy and John’s memory

Sometimes in palliative care, it’s the little things that matter the most. Tandy remembers that when her dad, John, was in the hospice for three and a half weeks, he really looked forward to his daily bubble bath:

Image of John

"This daily bath helped to maintain his dignity and to retain some personal control over his routine. The hospice showed so much care for us as a family, allowing us to sleep in the lounge when my dad was close to the end of his life, bringing us tea and toast in the morning and showing so much love and sensitivity when he passed. Those small demonstrations of love and attention to detail made such a huge difference to our journey, and we will be forever thankful for St Barnabas."

Heather and John’s memory

When someone is receiving palliative care, the people they love become part of the hospice too. We cared for Heather’s husband John Dean in the 1980s. John had a brain tumour and when it began to affect the family’s day-to-day lives, St. Barnabas stepped in and offered day care. As his illness progressed, John stayed in the hospice for six months until he passed away in March 1988.

A nostalgic photo of a wedding day

“John loved it, and it gave me time to spend with our two young daughters. I would visit John every day, wash his face and give him a wet shave. It became a home from home for us. The staff there also made it possible for him to spend his last Christmas with us at home.”

Lindsay’s memory

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, it is easy to forget that when St Barnabas House opened, hospice care was still in its infancy. In fact, St Barnabas was one of the first three hospices offering end-of-life care to open in the UK. Lindsay shares her story of visiting us when we were just opening to the public:

“I had the privilege of visiting St Barnabas in 1973 when I was a student nurse. I remember meeting the founder, Dr Gusterson, who spoke so movingly about the hospice movement. The atmosphere was very uplifting, and I remember seeing some beautiful artwork on the walls. A very special friend of mine was at St Barnabas and received wonderful love and care until she passed away.”

Heidi’s memory

Palliative care is all about making the most of the time the patient has left. For many people, that means spending as much time as possible with loved ones. In 2018 Heidi’s dad, Terry, was cared for by the Hospice at Home team, who kept him comfortable in his own home. Heidi shares their story:

“We are a large family, and having Dad at home meant that we could all be together when he finally slipped away. At the time of Dad’s diagnosis, I found out that I was expecting my third child. Since my dad passed away, a friend and I have done numerous fundraising events as a way of thanking the hospice.”

Picture of a baby being kissed by their mum and granddad.

"My baby was delivered three weeks early so that we could all spend time together in my dad’s final days, which would not have been possible without the care of the Hospice at Home team"

Sam’s memory

“When I was a child my dad, John Dean, received palliative care at St Barnabas House. I know my mum has shared her own memories, but I have such fond memories of the time I spent there in 1987-88 with my dad, mum and sister that I wanted to share my recollections too.

I remember walking around the lounge freely and speaking with the other people being cared for there – talking to staff, doing crafts and everyone knowing our names. I am forever grateful to my mum and all the staff at St Barnabas for helping seven-year-old me face such a difficult experience with courage and love. After our time at the hospice, my grandparents, Tim and Joan Miles, were patient transport volunteers for many years.

Old photograph of a child and their father.

"I have no doubt that my experience of St Barnabas House and the kindness of all those I met in my childhood is what compels me to work within the NHS. Thank you."

Sue’s story

On 4 April 1990, my mum Joan Day died at St Barnabas House. Mum was of a generation that regarded a hospice as a place to die, so having enjoyed fish and chips on the day she arrived, she soon went downhill and within a few days had passed away. Despite the short time she was there the impression on me was substantial. Even now, 33 years on, I can recall the time when feeding my Mum, a role reversal that suddenly hit me and I began to crumble. From nowhere a nurse appeared, took the bowl from my hands and guided me away from the situation. A big hug, a cup of tea, a chat and I regained the strength to return to my Mum. The care she received and the ongoing support that my father was given stayed in my memory for years. At that time I lived 100 miles away, and as an only child I found the continuing support that my father received from St Barnabas after Mum’s death so reassuring for both of us.

It never crossed my mind that I would ever be the recipient of St Barnabas’ care again, but now living locally, my husband Maurice was admitted in September 2022. Unlike my dear mum, he stayed at St Barnabas for six weeks before the inevitable happened. Once again, those arms appeared and hugged me tight at a time when I needed it most.

Several times during that six weeks I thought of my Mum, but now in the new building I didn’t think there would be any current reference to the time she spent in the hospice. Many times I found myself wandering around the building while the care team looked after Maurice, and in that strange state of mind that seems to envelope you while there and I came across the remembrance books outside the chapel and there was her name under the date. A little comfort at a time it was needed most.

33 years on and apart from the super new building in Titnore Lane, nothing’s changed. The ethos of St Barnabas and the dedication, understanding and caring of the nursing staff is as constant as ever.