Keech Hospice calls on Bedfordshire residents to share their memories to mark anniversary year

Keech Hospice Care celebrates 30 years of caring this year

Keech Hospice Care wants to hear from Bedfordshire residents about their memories of the hospice as it celebrates 30 years.

The hospice in Luton provides care specifically for terminally ill children in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes, but also focuses on older terminally ill patients in Luton and South Bedfordshire.

Anyone who has experienced the care the charity provides is being asked to email their memories and photographs to [email protected] so they can be shared as part of the commemorations.

Royal visit in 2016 (C) Keech Hospice Care

Hospice CEO, Liz Searle said: “We want to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary by remembering all those incredible people we’ve had the privilege to meet over the years.

"Our families are always telling us what fond memories they have of the services we provide, and now we want to share those memories as we say thank you to everyone who’s put their trust in us at such a critical moment in their lives.

"It would also be lovely to hear from former staff, volunteers, fundraisers – everyone really who holds a place for us in their heart.”

Continuing with the memory theme, Keech is bringing a first-of-its-kind spectacular Wild in Art free art trail to Bedfordshire this summer.

Dr Wink White (founder) with model of hospice in 1991 (C) Keech Hospice Care

The Big Trunk Trail is the biggest outdoor public art event the county has ever seen with more than thirty elephants, beautifully decorated by individual artists and put on display across Luton’s parks and landmarks.

Each sculptured elephant has been generously sponsored by local businesses and will be on parade for thirteen weeks from Saturday, July 10. The collective name for elephants is a “memory” and the charity hopes that The Big Trunk Trail will bring people together to remember loved ones while creating fantastic new memories.

Liz added: “A herd of elephants is also called a Memory, because as everyone knows, elephants never forget. We know that the people we look after are never forgotten either, and we really do hope as many people as possible will share their memories of the times they’ve spent with us.”

“Visitors to the herd will be able to download our Keech Connect, Big Trunk Trail App or grab a printed map showing where they all are and the whole event is completely free.

"Visiting the Big Trunk Trail will make for some lovely summer days out when people can create some new family memories of their own.”

More than just a memory, when the elephants’ visit to Luton comes to an end in October, members of the public will have the chance to own one of these beautiful sculptures. They are all being auctioned on 11 November, with all the proceeds helping Keech Hospice Care continue its vital work.

The elephant sculptures have been produced by Wild in Art, a leading producer of public art events.

Charlie Langhorne, managing director and co-founder at Wild in Art, said: “At Wild in Art we’re all about making memories with our public events, so we’re delighted to form this partnership with such a great charity as Keech Hospice Care.

"Our elephants will give people the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll around Luton’s parks and landmarks enjoying these beautiful, cheerful art works while remembering what great care and kindness the charity has given to everyone for the past thirty years.”