Hospice: 01206 845 566

SinglePoint: 01206 890 360

Contrast

Text Size

a a
X

18th May 2020

Heritage story: Allan Crabtree

Allan Crabtree volunteered in a public relations role from early 1980 to promote the new St Helena Hospice in the community, and continued to volunteer as a trustee on the council of management until 2008.

Before Allan died in February 2019, he recorded his memories for the St Helena Hospice heritage project.
Allan Crabtree

 

The very first time I heard the word ‘hospice’ was during a phone call from Liz, Dr Elizabeth Hall. She briefly explained what a hospice was and the intention to get one in Colchester, and she wanted him to join the steering group. 

Liz said it would only take a few months to help then I could slide off if I wanted to. That was a joke!

My particular job was public relations to try to get it off the ground. When I sat back and I looked at it I thought, well I’ve got no product and I’m trying to sell it to people! We were promoting something that didn’t exist.

We travelled around the county talking, talking, talking, spreading the word about the Hospice and getting it to be known.

I had good partners with the Standard and the Evening Gazette, who helped us along quite a lot with coverage in the newspapers.

I wanted to help achieve this because I would have liked a hospice to have been available for my young niece, but there wasn’t. Back then, once they decided you were terminal that was the end of you, you got crossed off the book, even though you hadn’t died.

There was a need. When I talked to people about how it would be nice if the person we loved was looked after, that got going really and it caught on.

Everyone was so friendly. It was a family really, a family which you began to grow into.

I think we made a nice little go of it. 

Allan Crabtree 1981

St Helena Hospice Heritage Stories project supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

National Lottery Heritage Fund
 

Related news and stories

 

Queen Mother's visit to St Helena Hospice

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother visited Colchester on 11th April 1986 to officially open the inpatient unit.

View more

People's Princess Visit

Diana, Princess of Wales officially opened the Joan Tomkins day centre on 26th April 1988, where she captivated patients, hospice volunteers and staff.

View more

I planted the long border that goes up the drive

Angela d’Angibau was part of the team of volunteers who worked tirelessly before The Hospice opened in May 1985, to create a tranquil garden for people to enjoy and reflect in.

View more

Heritage stories: Early days

Anticipating the arrival of our first patient, after six years of planning, fundraising and building.

View more

Heritage stories: Dr Elizabeth Hall

Dr E chaired the 1979 steering group and was the first medical Director.

View more

Heritage stories: Mary Fairhead

Mary found the site for the new hospice and was part of the appeal committee.

View more

Heritage stories: Dr Peter Kennedy

Peter spoke at the 1979 public meetins alongside sister Deirdre Allen.

View more

Heritage stories: Lisa Brenchley

Lisa was the first patient to be admitted to St Helena Hospice.

View more
 
 
Basket 0

Items in basket: 0

View Basket
Spinner