Pavers available for next stage of St Barnabas House hospice Walk of Life

Jeanette Baker's family, widower Chris Baker, sons Connor and Bradley Baker, and mum Doreen Harbour, have two stones in the Walk of Life in her memory
Jeanette Baker's family, widower Chris Baker, sons Connor and Bradley Baker, and mum Doreen Harbour, have two stones in the Walk of Life in her memory

Lasting memories of loved ones can be set in stone at St Barnabas House as the hospice extends its Walk of Life.

Orders for bricks and pavers are being taken for the next stage of the pathway that welcomes visitors to the hospice, in Titnore Lane, Worthing.

Dr Francis Gusterson's paving stone in the Walk of Life. Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate'St Barnabas House

Dr Francis Gusterson's paving stone in the Walk of Life. Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate'St Barnabas House

The Walk of Life is a collection of hundreds of positive messages of hope, love, fun and remembrance.

Doreen Harbour, mother of Jeanette Baker, who was cared for by St Barnabas House just over two years ago, has raised the money to buy two pavers, together with her family.

She said: “The staff and volunteers gave Jeanette the best quality of life she could have had during her illness. Over Christmas 2015, staff gave up their leave on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day to drive Jeanette home to Littlehampton to be with her family.

“We are indebted to St Barnabas House forever. We all feel part of the family when we visit St Barnabas House, so it is perfect to have this permanent family memento here. We trust the inscription will also give hope and strength to others.”

Jeanette’s sons, Connor and Bradley Baker, won a Herald and Gazette Community Stars award in 2016.

The Walk of Life was first launched during the capital appeal to build the new hospice, which opened in 2011, and since then it has raised more than £250,000.

One of the first pavers was that of Dr Francis Gusterson, founder of the original hospice in Columbia Drive, Worthing, in 1973.

Hugh Lowson, chief executive, said: “He wanted to provide the very best care for every local person who needed end-of-life care and to offer it freely and without obligation. He began making that dream a reality when St Barnabas House opened its doors to the first patients in 1973.

“St Barnabas House remains a charity today, we get very little government funding and rely on voluntary donations from the local community. A paver in the Walk of Life will make a contribution towards continuing Dr Gusterson’s dream.”

Individuals, community groups, schools and companies have all made contributions to the Walk of Life and their messages not only give hope but also help to pay for the care services provided by St Barnabas House.

Wendy Bardsley, community fundraising manager, said: “The Walk of Life reminds us of how connected we all are and how our community worked together to build a hospice that provides end-of-life care for our community.

“For patients, it’s an immediate visual reminder that St Barnabas House provides as much life, love and enjoyment as we can in the time they have left.

“For individuals, community groups and companies, it’s a way of celebrating the lives of loved ones, friends and colleagues.”

Visit www.stbh.org.uk/walk-of-life to download a Walk of Life form. To discuss the inscription, call the fundraising team on 01903 254777 or email fundraising@stbh.org.uk.

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