A FORMER chairman of a Cheshire hospice from Over Peover is appealing for information in a bid to compile a history of the centre.

East Cheshire Hospice wants to trace its roots to celebrate its 25th anniversary and is appealing to readers of the Knutsford Guardian for help with information.

Roger Payne, a former chairman of the trustees, has already started the task of researching the origins of East Cheshire Hospice.

As part of his fact-finding mission, he has started looking back through our old newspaper cuttings to build up a picture of how the hospice was set up.

The aim is to publish a book during 2013 chronicling the history of a hospice that each year cares for 300 in-patients in its main ward with 3,000 day care visits to the Sunflower Centre.

“We know the first patient was treated in February 1988 and the formal opening of the hospice took place in the May of that year,” said Roger, 70, from Over Peover.

“Sadly, the hospice hasn’t kept accurate records of how it was set up but I’d like to know the key people involved and whose idea it was in the first place to have a hospice serving the Macclesfield area.

“I’m looking for any old photographs and anecdotes so I can put together a properly organised history. The information we have at the moment is patchy but I’m sure the public can help with a lot the detail.”

Roger, a retired businessman, still has close links with East Cheshire Hospice in his role as a volunteer. Wife Diana also helps out as a volunteer on the hospice reception.

“There are three reasons I’m doing the book – to celebrate the 25th anniversary; to recognise the people whose enthusiasm and imagination created the hospice before we lose touch with them; and if it’s done well it should be a fundraising item for the hospice.

“The hospice movement was set up by a lady called Cicely Saunders who recognised that hospitals which were caring for the sick and dying required a different set of skills known as palliative care.

“In addition, hospices provide support for families and carers and an important thing to consider is that a third of patients actually return home, so it’s not just a one-way street.

“At our Sunflower Centre, patients receive treatments and therapies ranging from therapeutic massages to baths and hair care.”

To contact Roger with any information please call him on 01625 861330 or 07711 833362 or email rogpayne@aol.com.