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St Peter & St James Hospice

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Each year the Private Client team participate in a charitable Will writing month in aid of the St Peter & St James Hospice and Continuing Care Centre in North Chailey, East Sussex. The purpose of the scheme is to enable supporters of the hospice to make a Will with Dawson Hart and, instead of paying Dawson Hart, clients are asked to make a charitable donation to the hospice. We donate our time and expertise for free and supporters of the hospice benefit from a professionally drawn up Will.

By participating in the scheme, this year we helped to raise £5,160 for the hospice.

As a thank you for the time that we donate to the scheme, the Private Client team were invited to tour the hospice and learn how each donation helps. We also met the resident donkeys which form part of the hospice’s legacy! Jim and Susan Dinnage of Wivelsfield, East Sussex were responsible for rescuing 194 donkeys bound for the slaughterhouse and it was Jim’s love for donkeys that led to the unusual request that the hospice should always take care of two donkeys. In 1954 Jim and Susan’s son was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and, sadly, he died two years later at age 13. Recognising that families caring for seriously ill relatives needed some form of relief, Jim and Susan opened a holiday centre in Lancing, which was named St Peter’s in memory of their son. Jim then died of a heart attack in 1963 and Susan continued their vision. In 1975 Susan opened St Peter & St James Holiday Home for the disabled on the same site that the hospice sits on today, nearly 40 years later. 

The hospice and the grounds sit on the border of Wivelsfield and North Chailey in the heart of the East Sussex countryside, looking onto the South Downs. The grounds have landscaped gardens that are cared for by volunteer gardeners and a wheelchair friendly woodland walk for patients and their family. The building itself is in the process of being updated and expanded to accommodate the greater intake of patients and I was impressed to see they are always thinking of new ways to improve the rooms, such as providing modern fold-away beds for family members wishing to stay.

The hospice has great plans for modernisation and improving the care that they provide to patients and their families. It costs approximately £7,200 everyday just to keep the hospice and continuing care centre running of which only 14% comes from the Government. I am pleased that at Dawson Hart we are able to support the hospice and raise awareness by participating in the Will writing scheme each year as it is such a worthy cause and provides so much to the local community.

If you would like any more information on writing a Will, or to enquire about the Will writing schemes Dawson Hart takes part in, please call Dawson Hart's Private Client team on 01825 762281.