A HOSPICE is celebrating 30 years of caring in the community.

St Luke’s Hospice is this year marking three decades in the business, and bosses say they plan to celebrate in style.

The hospice, which cares for people whose illnesses are incurable, will be hosting a variety of events in a bid to encourage people to get involved and show their support.

St Lukes’s will also be launching a new partnership with Peter Beales Roses, with a patented shrub, named ‘The Pearl of St Luke’s’.

Proceeds from its sale will raise money for the hospice.

Founded in 1990 by Trudy Westmore-Cox MBE and Les Cox, who were recently awarded with the Freedom of Basildon award, the hospice was once based in a derelict farmhouse.

The charity has since gone from strength to strength and now works alongside the NHS and healthcare professionals, and plays a crucial role in end-of-life care in south Essex.

Eileen Marshall, Chief Executive of St Luke’s, which provide 18 services to patients and their families, is looking forward to the future.

She said: “This is an exciting year for St Luke’s Hospice; not only are we celebrating our 30th anniversary but work on our new Hospice at Bulphan is well underway, which will see our care extend further.

“St Luke’s Hospice has come a long way over the years and we’re proud of the services we’re now able to provide in our local community.

“All of this is thanks to our amazing team and people’s continued generosity and kindness and we hope people will join us in celebration this year.”

Trudy Westmore-Cox said she is extremely proud of where the hospice is now, adding: “I was a district nurse for over 20 years and the patients I met and my experiences made me determined to set up a hospice.

“ I felt strongly that people at the end of life, like those I visited, needed to know there was constant help and support for them in times of need and not just with a quick visit.”