Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster has agreed to become Patron of St Joseph's Hospice in Hackney. St Joseph's, one of the oldest hospices in the country, was founded by the Religious Sisters of Charity in 1905. They were invited to Hackney by the then Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vaughan, to help and care for the poor of East London who were dying in terrible conditions, mainly from tuberculosis.
Affirming his support for the work of the hospice, Cardinal Nichols said: "I take great pride in the history and tradition of St Joseph's Hospice. I support the great work in continuing the tradition of the Sisters of Charity. The vision and values of the Sisters are as relevant today as ever."
St Joseph's Hospice now cares for more than 2,500 people with terminal or life-limiting illness in East London, within the four walls of the hospice but also out in the community. As well as inpatient and clinical care, it provides a range of services, for patients and their families, from complementary therapies, chaplaincy and psychological therapies to social and creative activities.
All St Joseph's Hospice services are provided free of charge but only half of the funding needed is provided by the NHS. St Joseph's needs to raise around £7 million each year through charitable donations to reach the £15 million needed to run the hospice.
Nigel Harding, Chief Executive, St Joseph's Hospice said: "We are delighted that Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has agreed to become a Patron of St Joseph's Hospice. It is fitting that Cardinal Nichols will be a key figure in our future as Cardinal Vaughan played such an important role in our past.
"Cardinal Nichols is a regular visitor to our hospice and is extremely popular among our patients, staff, volunteers and visitors. His all-embracing nature and belief in care for the individual fits perfectly with the mission and core values of St Joseph's Hospice and we look forward to his continuing spiritual support over the coming years."
Read more about St Joseph's on their Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/StJoHospice/
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