Charity of the Year
When St George's Ladies Group recommenced in September Winifred Mancz and Andrew Clark were our speakers. We choose a different charity each year for which to raise money and this year it was voted to support St George's Hall Fund.
Andrew gave us a brief history of the hall. In 1913 the dilapidated state of St George's School was discussed and it was decided to rebuild it and a Mrs Marshall immediately offered £100 towards the cost. The original cost was to be £500 but the final figure was actually £900.
The late Doug Shepherd realised renting out the hall could bring in a source of revenue and worked hard to put this into operation with the help of his wife Joan, who became the bookings secretary. Over the last twenty years the hall has been in constant use by various groups and many people have made their stage debut at the Christmas shows.
A recent survey revealed the roof is in a very poor state of repair, apart from other problems with the building, and the total cost to rectify the faults would be in the region of £50,000.
Winifred said that as the cost to repair the hall was so high the possibility of building a new hall was under discussion. In view of the rapid growth of Waterlooville the Diocesan Advisory Committee looked favourably on the idea but in view of the tremendous task of fund raising the project would need very careful consideration before a decision was made.
One evening about twenty members of the St George's Ladies Group went to visit the Rowans hospice in Purbrook and I think our first impression was the tranquillity of the place.
The matron told us that John Marshall, who was a mayor of Portsmouth in the 1980's was the person responsible for The Rowans project as he felt there was a great need for a hospice. The area covered by the hospice is from Titchfield in the west to Hayling Island in the East.
Most of the patients stay only for 2 weeks and are usually referred by a doctor because of emotional problems or difficulties at home, enabling carers a little respite. Contrary to popular belief only about 11 percent of patients die in the hospice. The nurses are specially trained for this kind of nursing and there is counselling for the bereaved, both children and adults. Relatives can visit at any time and there is limited overnight accommodation, but visitors are allowed to stay and sleep in the room of their loved one if this is their wish.
Apart from the doctors, nurses and administration staff there are about 300 volunteer helpers without whom the hospice would not be able to function. They work as receptionists, gardeners, drivers, computer operators and tea and coffee makers and have four hour shifts.
After having coffee we were invited to see the chapel, which is undenominational. This was a small room with a beautiful stained glass window, a place of quiet where anyone could go to pray.
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page last updated 1 NOVEMBER 1999