St Michael's admitted its first patient on 31st October 1984, and was officially opened by Princess Alexandra in May 1985.
Although only five years had elapsed between first meeting Freda and the Hospice opening, it had been far from plain sailing. Apart from the daunting task of raising the money to build and run the Hospice, we initially encountered considerable opposition from several influential people. A nationally known, and highly respected, member of the hospice movement tried very hard to persuade us to start with just a Home Care facility. I am convinced that, had we done this, Herefordshire would still be waiting for its hospice to be built, as has happened in a neighbouring district; our determination to have an in-patient unit never wavered.
Sadly, the seemingly indomitable Freda did not live to see the Hospice built. She died in the summer of 1983, yet had still been enlisting the support of her fellow patients in hospital, a few days before. Special permission was given for her to be buried near the Hospice, in the grounds of the convent.
(Pictured Richard Miller with Princess Alexandra at the opening of the Hospice 1985)