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Supporting terminally ill patients & those who care for them

Our history

Until 1986 the Warkworth Wellsford area was not covered by any Hospice facility.


From an initial contact made by Julian Court of North Shore Hospice (who were a branch of Auckland Hospice Foundation) to Malcolm Clague and Raewyn Wylie, a public meeting was called in Warkworth to set up a group of Hospice Homecare Volunteers.  Along with Malcolm and Raewyn  -    Angela Buckton, Mary Catalani (McLellan), Margaret Cross, Nan Furniss, Dianne Nichols and Rosemary Powell responded.  Raewyn was appointed as Coordinator.


In 1987 these people trained as homecare volunteers. They were unpaid and provided emotional support for the terminally ill and their families in their homes.  Meetings were held in Raewyn’s home.
Features of early days: All Volunteers had a single focus; All meetings had a training element.


In 1988 Warkworth/Wellsford arranged their own Volunteer Training Course in this area  (which became a permanent feature).  This was initially organised and run by Malcolm and Raewyn.  Lindsay Bol, Jill Bollard, Lorna Kjestrup and Ruth Wrack joined as Volunteers and trained at this course.  As no wages and no vehicles were required at this stage fundraising was at a minimum.
At the end of 1988 (?) Warkworth/Wellsford Hospice received a COGS grant of $9,000.  As a result of this grant Ruth Wrack and Raewyn became paid Coordinators of Volunteers.  They were paid for 5 hours per week each, which didn't nearly cover the work they actually did.  Ruth operated in Wellsford and Raewyn in Warkworth.


On 1 April 1990 Vonnie Wynne was appointed Coordinator of Volunteers for Warkworth and Wellsford.  She was paid for 10 hours per week.  Vonnie visited each patient then assigned a volunteer who then looked after one family.  Vonnie proceeded to become very involved with the Hospice in many capacities.


In 1991 the North Shore Hospice Trust was formed, with Warkworth/Wellsford as a branch.  Until then North Shore Hospice was a branch of Auckland Hospice Trust, with us as third tier.
With the growth and progress of the local hospice services increased funding was required.  Initially a street stall was held and proceeds from this purchased a Graseby Pump, which Hospice presented to the local District Nurses on the understanding that it would be available to Hospice if and when a Hospice Nurse was employed.
Anne Roberts joined as a Volunteer and became very active in many areas.


In 1993 the official Warkworth/Wellsford Hospice Committee of the North Shore Hospice Trust was formed with Malcolm as Chairperson.  A lot of work was put into working out rules and policies for the operation, and forming job descriptions.
Joan Wynne trained as a Homecare Volunteer.  She later set up the catering with Fay Illingworth.
Vonnie was a strong driving force during this time and under her guidance and energy, together with Malcolm, Hospice in Warkworth/Wellsford became a solid helping presence in the community. Vonnie felt strongly that the area needed a professional nurse, and in July 1993 the first part time nurse, Dianne Keip, was employed.
North Shore carried the cost of the first nurse and general running of this area until we were able to become more self supporting, when taking into account our share of the subsidy from government. NSH allowed Warkworth/Wellsford the flexibility to be independent, to use some initiative and capitalise on the enthusiasm of the local team.  They thus contributed to Warkworth/Wellsford becoming independently successful.
Many local organisations, businesses and private members of the community have been extremely generous over the years.
Promotional talks were given to service groups like Lions, Country Women’s Institute, Church groups, Senior Citizens, RSA, Red Cross.  At the end of the addresses people were invited to become involved as a Friend of Hospice.  These people were unpaid and assisted with fundraising.  Garage sales were held when goods were donated.  Many fundraising events were held.
The Warkworth Garden Club held a day selling plants and donated the proceeds to Hospice.   Fay Illingworth was with the Garden Club and became involved in Hospice.  Local people opened their gardens to the public for a small charge to raise funds for Hospice.  Jock & Katherine Murray of Ti Point and Olga Yuretich (whose daughter Jo was a relief Hospice Nurse for some time) were amongst local people who opened their beautiful gardens to the public to raise funds in this way.
Trees of Remembrance held at Christmas and National Hospice Day at the beginning of December became a regular event in Warkworth & Wellsford.
The Warkworth Golf Club commenced what became an annual golf tournament in aid of Hospice.
Vonnie took over the role of Chairperson in 1993.  The Hospice was initially in Vonnie’s spare room, which it soon outgrew.  Late in 1993 an office was opened at 1 Elizabeth Street Warkworth covering the whole Warkworth/Wellsford area, and Jan Wordsworth was appointed joint Office Adminstrator and Coordinator of Volunteers, a paid position of 20 hours per week.


In 1994 the first Bereavement Group was formed with Raewyn Wylie and Mary McLellan as joint Coordinators.
Volunteer Support Group meetings held at Anglican Church Hall Warkworth.


In August/September 1995 the Warkworth Hospice Shop was commenced in Argyle Lane, with Volunteers and some Friends of Hospice to staff it.  Friends of Hospice are unpaid and assist with fundraising or other tasks but not homecare visiting.  In October 1995 Joyce Barry became Warkworth Shop Coordinator.
In August 1995 the office again shifted to the new Rural Health Services Building on the corner of Percy and Alnwick Streets - a move which would further cement relationships between the District Nurses and Hospice Nurse.  Marion Schreiber trained as a Volunteer.
Judy Campbell was appointed as a second Hospice Nurse.
May – First nurses’ car purchased; a Ford Lynx.
1st electric bed purchased


In June 1996 the Wellsford Hospice Shop was officially opened by Ron Cameron of Rodney District Council.   Anne Roberts was Shop Coordinator with Heather Power as her right hand person.
The two shops became the main source of non-grant funds for the Warkworth/Wellsford Hospice with a team of around 52 helpers in Wellsford and around 82 in Warkworth bringing in a net total of around $50,000 per annum.
Paula Middleton-Garner was appointed as a third Hospice Nurse.
Vonnie once again took over duties as Coordinator of Volunteers.
January – Daphne Were appointed as Office Administrator.
Caregiver magazine distributed to all Friends of Hospice and Volunteers.
February - Gail Hawkes appointed Coordinator of Volunteers.
March - Sibyl Patrick undertook office duties after Jan Wordsworth’s resignation.
Lorna Kjestrup became Committee Minutes Secretary.
April -     Marion Schreiber appointed Chairperson of the Committee
Mort Schreiber appointed Treasurer
Christine Sanderson took on duties of Fundraising Coordinator
May – Second nurses’ car purchased.  Ford Laser station wagon to carry electric beds etc.
December – Nigel Peebles appointed as Hospice Nurse, primarily to cover Dianne’s maternity leave and supplement the growing need for palliative care nursing in the area.


Feb – June Stewart appointed as  Office Administrator 9am to 1pm.
April – Fay Illingworth appointed Fundraising Coordinator.  Around 200 Friends of Hospice working in the shops and other fundraising roles and helping in the office.
1 July – Moved to new offices in Tui House, cnr Alnwick & Percy Streets Warkworth –large enough to accommodate staff of one office administrator and four part time nurses.  ASB donated new computer & photocopier.
Gail Hawkes, as Coordinator of Volunteers responsible for over 50 Volunteers, organised Maxine Burgham-Page to facilitate 3 days of the 6 week Volunteer Training Course.
August/September – Anne Roberts employed as temporary Coordinator of Volunteers while Gail on leave.Volunteer Support meetings at Catholic Hall Ww.
October – Volunteer Coordinator position split.  Gail responsible for Homecare - visiting families, matching volunteers to patients, meeting with nurses to discuss cases,  supporting families and volunteers (paid 10 hours per week) and Anne responsible for Administration, education, meetings, recruitment, appraisals.  (paid 10 hours per week)
Dianne Keip appointed Nursing Team Leader


April – Lorna Kjestrup appointed as Chairperson of Committee.
June – Sorting room for Warkworth Hospice Shop opened.
July – Wellsford Hospice Shop moved to Harrison Road into much larger, light airy premises with very large sorting area.
Heather Power took over as Wellsford Hospice Shop Manager.
November – Andrea Noble appointed overall Volunteer Coordinator combining previous two roles.  Paid for 25 hours per week.
Office Administrator’s hours extended to 9am – 1.30pm.
COGS grant for $5,000 received.
Wellsford Brasserie Pub Charities grants received.
Late in the year Mort Schreiber resigned as Treasurer.  Jim Letcher took on the role in a temporary capacity.


Fay Illingworth as Fundraising Coordinator was very active.
Highly successful Fashion Parade and Auction of Promises held. Sept Catering team (Fay Illingworth, Joan Win, Toby Moir & Christine Sanderson) commenced. Raised over $20,000 catering funerals, parties, weddings, lunches in next year.
Garage Sales held at the home of Dave & Mildred Maney, under the leadership of Christine Sanderson, raised around $8,000 for the year.
Elspeth McAulay appointed as honorary PR / Marketing Coordinator. Together with June Stewart produced first Warkworth/Wellsford Hospice Talk magazine for donors.
October - Paula Garner took maternity leave.


Nigel Peebles took over role of Nursing Team Leader.
January - Bob Deans appointed Treasurer.
Committee agreed to go public in a search for a free house.
Rodney Times printed many free articles to publicise Hospice’s need and in May
Benefactor’s offer received and suitable properties sought for consideration.
Dianne Keip took maternity leave.
April - Office Administrator (June Stewart) had paid hours increased to 27.5 per week. Involved in applying for funding grants, monthly financial accounts, photo shoots and media interviews and articles, producing Caregiver Newsletter for Hospice Friends of Hospice and Volunteers,  working with PR Coordinator (Elspeth McAulay) over Hospice Talk donor magazine, handled all office work, correspondence, Committee papers, reception.
26 May – Jo Seagar “Night to Remember” dinners raised $7,000.
21-27 July Hospice Week. New World Round Up programme raised $6,000.
July - Shops takings peaked at Warkworth $6,000 and Wellsford $4,000
July – Fun Fashion Parade in Town Hall open to public.  Around 150 attended.
August – Dave & Mildred Maney shifted out of the area, so Garage Sales held at the home of Christine & Morris Sanderson.
Funding grants received from Pub Charities (Wellsford Brasserie) $3,000,
Lion Foundation (The Warkworth Inn Ltd) $5,000 and ASB Charitable Trust
$25,000 expenses plus new computer and photocopier.
September –Warkworth Rotary Club ran a Riverbank Charity Bash at the Warkworth Kowhai Festival with a Celebrity Auction to raise funds for a Hospice house.
November – an anonymous benefactor loaned $200,000 interest free for 2 years and Hospice House 51 Woodcocks Road purchased.  Loan repaid in 2 months due to Veta Mary James Trust gift of $140,000 and Warkworth Rotary gift of $55,000.  EAR Fisher Estate provided $40,000 towards upgrade.


25 February moved into Hospice House.
Volunteers, Friends of Hospice and their families worked hard developing the grounds, helping erect the 4 garages, laying concrete, painting etc.
Many local businesses donated time, materials and expertise to complete the project.
Major House Sponsors                                   Other Major Sponsors 2001/2
Colin Sharp                                                      ASB Trusts
EAR Fisher Estate                                          Lion Foundation
Ideal Buildings Rodney Ltd                            Nth Shore Presbyterian Hospital Trust
Kowhai Coast Lions Club                              Pub Charities       
Lions Club of Warkworth                                The Warkworth Inn
Mahurangi Sheetmetals Ltd                           Wellsford Brasserie
Mason Contractors (Warkworth) Ltd 
Merv Howlett
Rodney Concrete Services
Terraforce NZ Ltd
Times Media Group Ltd
Veta Mary James Trust
Warkworth Rotary Club
Webster Malcolm & Kilpatrick
Wharehine Group
March – First garage sale at the new Woodcock’s Road premises.
6 April 2002 - Dame Thea Muldoon, Patron, Officially Opened
HOSPICE HOUSE, 51 Woodcocks Road Warkworth to serve the Warkworth
Wellsford area, from north Waiwera to Tapora in the north west, across to part of Mangawhai in the north east.
April -  Margaret Wright appointed Chairperson.
April -  Nigel Peebles left for Saudi Arabia.
Cath Bartlett was appointed as part-time nurse.
October – Cindy Robertson was appointed as a relieving nurse.


January – Sonya Berger commenced as part-time Administration Assistant.
February – 2nd House (next door) was purchased with funding  from Veta Mary James Trust.
Committee agreed to man the office full time.  Volunteers provided the extra hours.
October – Margaret Wright resigned as Chairperson as she was leaving to live at Whakatane.
Patsy Sumpter took over as Chairperson.
Dianne Keip resigned to take up her new position as Nurse Team Leader for the Nelson Hospice.
Cindy (Cynnamin) Robertson filled this position.
November – Two new cars for the nurses were purchased with funding from Pub Charity Inc, Warkworth Rotary and other charitable trusts.
A patient’s hoist, lazyboy chair and smaller items updating nurses equipment, were purchased from funding from ASB Trust grants.
December – A second hand van was purchased for the delivery of equipment to patients and also to be used for collection of goods for garage sales and shop.  Rotary members are assisting with the delivery and collection of equipment and goods.
Bob Deans resigned as Treasurer to continue with other interests.


February – Vonnie Wynne resigned as a Homecare Volunteer as she left the district.
David Scott appointed Treasurer.
Judy Macready appointed to North Shore Hosppice Board of Trustees to represent Warkworth Wellsford Hospice on the North Shore Hospice Trust.
April - Andrea Noble, Volunteer Coordinator resigned as moved to Coromandel.
Edie Chappell joined as Andrea's replacement.
Alice Murman was appointed as an addition to the Nursing staff.
Tricia Clarkson was appointed as Manager of our Office in Warkworth.
Helen Hager has joined our office staff to replace Sonia.


Kathryn Ashworth appointed as Manager, Warkworth & Wellsford Hospice


April - Gabrielle Masters replaced Edie as Family Support Co-ordinator.  Gabrielle brings to Hospice her experience with Grief Counselling.
June Stewart married Colin Webb in Ireland and resigned from Hospice.
Cath Copley joined the team as Funding Co-ordinator. Resigned October 2009.
August - First Wearable Arts show held at Ascension Wine Estate.


Guinny Sorensen joined as Receptionist/Admin, working Wed/Thu/Fri. Resigned February 2008.
Helen Hager changed hours to eight hours a week to work as assistant to Kathryn Ashworth. Resigned September 2009.
Sandy Dodd appointed as Manager, Wellsford Shop. Left August 2009.
Work commenced on alterations to Hospice House which was funded by Rotary.  New offices were built for Kathryn, Gabrielle, Cath, the nurses and a new reception area was created.  A quiet room is now available for Gabrielle to use for counselling.  The Garage Sales area has a covered walk-way between the houses and No. 53 is used as extra storage area for furniture and also has a large meeting room.
In December Judy Campbell resigned after 13 years as a Palliative Care Nurse


Cindy Robertson took maternity leave.  Resumed work as Palliative Care Nurse March 2009.
Paula Garner was appointed Palliative Care Nurse Team Leader in February
12 March — Official opening of the new look Hospice House was celebrated with staff, volunteers and contractors who had helped with the renovations.
In March Cath Bartlett resigned after 8 years as a Palliative Care Nurse
20 March  -  Vanessa Philp started work as a Palliative Care Nurse. Resigned October 2009.
2 April  -  Karen Williamson started work as a Palliative Care Nurse
Aug  -  Caroline Bell started work as Relief Palliative Care Nurse
June  -  Christine Barney appointed as Warkworth Shop Manager


April - Sue Seymour appointed as administration manager
October - Gaye Ward appointed as Wellsford shop manager
October - Caroline appointed to permanent position
November - Emma Moore appointed as relief palliative care nurse. Resigned November 2010.


2 February - Lesley Ingham started work as fundraising and PR coordinator.
May - Round-up for Hospice at New World raised $5000.
July - Cyndi resigned as palliative care nurse.
Lounge, dining room and kitchen in second house refurbished to provide room for massage therapy, meetings, art therapy and training. Free therapeutic massage offered to patients well enough to come to Hospice House. Sally Randall providing massage and reflexology, volunteer Barbara Matheson offered hand massage and manicures.
September - Catwalk Arts raised about $15,000.
September - Susan Matheson appointed as relief palliative care nurse.
October - Love Leigh Homes Tour raised $10,000.
November - Monica Donnelly appointed as social worker.
November - Emma Moore resigned as palliative care nurse.


January - Sue Ward appointed as receptionist.
March - Pru FitzHerbert started work as relief palliative care nurse.
March - Art therapy workshop held at Hospice House for bereaved family members.
Red and Black earthquake relief garage sale raised $3500 for Nurse Maude in Christchurch.

From Heather Power at Wellsford:
'Wellsford Shop opened behind Mac's takeaway (now Subway) on Monday 24th June 1996 at 10am. Ron Cameron from Rodney Council cut the ribbon and gave a speech, then all had a cuppa and the shop was open for business. I started work there on Wednesday 26th with Maureen McDougall. we took $63 on the 26th June and took $187.45 on 10th July. I started knitting TV slippers for Hospice with donated wool in 1996. I started counting them in 2002. From 2002 - 2009 I knitted 1269 pairs.'

These businesses and organisations give ongoing support to our Hospice. Please support them in return.

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