Hospice Waikato has touched many lives over the last 40 years – and now is the time to tell its story.
Hospice Waikato Charitable Trust was set up by volunteers in 1981, and a book marking its first incredible 40 years is to be launched next year.
Built on just a dream, hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours and huge community goodwill has seen the organisation grow into one of the region's most respected and loved charities.
Throughout its lifetime, Hospice Waikato's aim has remained the same: to provide patients throughout the region with free quality palliative care and to provide wide-ranging support for their families. At times it has been a challenge; through the 1980s and 1990s Hospice Waikato struggled to make ends meet.
But extraordinary fundraising – highlighted by the $9.5 million campaign in 2006/07 to build a home at Cobham Drive – has turned Hospice Waikato's story around and it is now the country's second biggest hospice.
Hospice Waikato's prestigious annual Hospice Waikato and Montana Food & Events Bucket List Banquet and its eight Hospice shops have further enhanced its reputation.
But above all, Hospice Waikato is known for its incredible quality care for the thousands of patients and families it comes into contact with each year.
The Hospice Waikato story is about people; the thousands of families who have benefited, and the volunteers and supporters who have given selflessly on its journey.
Hospice Waikato Foundation Trust, which ensures the charity's financial future and administers bequests, has commissioned the book.
Chairman John Erkkila says the project will be a lasting legacy to all those volunteers and staff who have contributed so much over the past 40 years.
"I can't think of a better way to honour them than to tell their stories," he said.
Richard Walker and Geoff Taylor of Long River Press are writing the Hospice story which is to be unveiled next year.
The authors, who previously published Mystery Creek Magic – 50 Years of Fieldays, say they are enjoying the challenge of doing justice to the incredible Hospice Waikato story.
"As a story they don't come any better," says Geoff.
"They've gone from a small, dedicated group of people with a dream battling to survive to a vital organisation, respected across the region. And within this story are so many great human stories to tell."
During the interviews and research, Richard and Geoff have captured many people's stories – but they say they are always looking for more.
If you have a story related to Hospice Waikato to tell, please share it. Contact Sharyn, 021 424 579 or firstname.lastname@example.org