Rennie Grove and Peace Hospice Care have merged to become Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care, operating officially as a newly registered charity from 1st July 2023.
Reaching more people
On 1st October 2022, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire hospice charities, Rennie Grove Hospice Care and Peace Hospice Care formally merged to become Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care, operating formally as a newly registered charity from 1st July 2023.
The driving force behind the merger is our goal to increase both the reach and scope of services. This includes high-quality care for those facing life-limiting illness, as well as bereavement counselling services for anyone affected by grief.
Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care has three clear aims:
- Serve – provide a wider range of services to support people in West Herts and Bucks to live as well as possible as they near the end of their lives
- Reach – develop new and enhanced services to reach all sections of the local community and meet their changing needs
- Strengthen – use our strengthened combined voice to secure the resources needed to ensure every local person receives the care they need, when they need it
A brief history of Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care
How it all began for Rennie Grove Hospice Care
Rennie Grove Hospice Care was formed in 2011 from the merger of Iain Rennie Hospice at Home and Grove House, a day hospice in St Albans which has continued to grow and improve its services for local families and patients with life-limiting illnesses.
It all started back in the 1980s, thanks to two incredible local women – Moira Rennie and Mary Groves. Moira and Mary both saw the need for specialist hospice care in the local community and worked tirelessly to fulfil that need.
In 1982, With concerns deepening about the inadequacy of services for the terminally ill, Dr Mary Groves, helped to establish the first St Albans and City District Hospice Care Team.
In 1985, Iain Rennie Hospice At Home was also established, led by Dr Mary Groves and Moira Rennie. The charity was named after its first patient, Iain Rennie. Iain was only in his mid-30s and his sons were very young when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Five local nurses joined forces and worked with Iain’s GP and Iain’s wife, Moira. Together they cared for him at home on a 24-hour responsive basis.
Then in 1991, Peace Hospice Care was set up in Watford
Today’s iconic building, Peace Hospice, operates on the site of the original Peace Memorial Hospital, which was first opened in 1925 by Princess Mary, the Princess Royal. The hospital was originally built as a memorial to those killed in World War One, thanks to the fundraising of local families. Over time, during the 1970s, medical services were gradually transferred to the new Watford General Hospital, forcing the closure of the Peace Memorial Hospital in 1985.
However, in 1991, a group of passionate pioneers from the Watford community set up the South-West Hertfordshire Hospital Charitable Trust and ran an appeal to fund a new hospice. By 1992, the Health Authority had agreed to a hospice on the then derelict Peace Memorial Hospital site. The appeal raised almost £2 million in four years.
By 1993, the appeal had raised enough money to start a Day Care Centre in a portacabin. After fundraising, the Centre was later transferred to the Hospital building and was officially opened in 1996 by our Royal President, Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent.
Over the following years, services adapted and grew and in 2000, Peace Hospice Care opened a new Inpatient Unit, launched the Hospice at Home service and opened the Peace Outpatient Centre.
And in 2022, we announced our new merger
As one larger charity, we can achieve so much more. We can reach an incredible 1 million people through our services across Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire with a newly combined team of over 370 employees. Our goal is to serve 7,500 patients a year with our new organisation*.
Key milestones in the evolution of Rennie Grove Peace
1st July 2023: Rennie Grove Peace
Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care begins operating formally as a newly registered charity.
October 2022: Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care formed
By merging with Peace Hospice, we will be able to combine resources to support more people to ensure every local person receives the care they need, when they need it.
2021: Peace Hospice Care celebrates its 30th anniversary
Many activities and celebrations take place throughout the year, including a staff and volunteer party, Skydive and Pedal for the Peace fundraising events along with a Royal visit.
2020: Peace Hospice Care wins National Award for Innovation
Peace Hospice Care wins a national award for innovation from Hospice UK for setting up the Palliative Care Referral Centre (PCRC).
Summer 2020: Grove House refurbishment completed
Although we completed the refurbishment in summer 2020, the full opening of the new-look Grove House was delayed until June 2021 due to rising COVID-19 cases and restrictions. By trebling the space available, the refurbishment is enabling us to expand our range of services for patients, families, and carers and has created facilities for children and young adults.
2013: The Peace Hospice changes its name to Peace Hospice Care
Reflecting the evolving nature and geographical spread of its services. The original green portico logo is replaced by the purple dove.
2011-2013: Merger of Iain Rennie Hospice Care and Grove House
After years of collaboration, Iain Rennie Hospice at Home and Grove House merged in 2011 and launched its new name and branding in 2013.
2005: Hospice at Home is set up
Providing support at home for people in the local community, subsequently called Peace Community Services. In Peace Hospice staff begin working in nursing homes, supporting staff with the challenges of dealing with end of life care. By 2012, this is extended to ten homes helping to meet residents’ preferred wishes for care at the end of life.
1996 – Peace Hospice reopens
Following extensive restoration, the main building is reopened as The Peace Hospice in September 1996 by HRH Princess Michael of Kent. It incorporates a Day Care Centre and a suite of offices.
2009: Clinical integration between Iain Rennie and Grove House
Iain Rennie’s Director of Nursing oversaw Grove House’s clinical services from the early 2000s. Full integration of clinical services occurred in 2009 between Iain Rennie Hospice at Home and Grove House.
1994: Grove House welcomes patients to its purpose built hospice in St Albans
After a successful £1m appeal, led by the late Lord Robert Runcie, Grove House was able to build a purpose-built hospice in St Albans. This enabled us to serve more patients with a wider range of services. On opening, the building was named the Macmillan Day Hospice - its name was changed a few years later to Grove House.
1993: First Iain Rennie charity shop opens in Tring
Peggy Bainbridge, a long-standing volunteer, began the retail fundraising operation with a market stall in Tring on Fridays. This stall became our first shop. located in Tring. Driven by Peggy’s determination and passion for the charity’s work, donations grew and volunteers were recruited. More shops followed and today Rennie Grove’s Retail and Trading department boasts 26 shops, an ebay and Depop store and raises around £3 million in a typical year.
1991 - Peace Hospice Appeal
The South West Herts appeal is launched to raise funds to buy the site for use as a Hospice. The appeal raises almost £2 million in four years. It is run from an office above the Hospice charity shop at 174 High Street (now known as Watford One), which was one of the first charity shops in Watford. In 1992 the Health Authority finally agree to a Hospice on the Peace Memorial site.
1985: Iain Rennie Hospice At Home established, led by Dr Mary Groves and Moira Rennie
The charity was named after its first patient, Iain Rennie. Iain was only in his mid-30s and his sons were very young when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Five local nurses joined forces and worked with Iain’s GP and Iain’s wife, Moira. Together they cared for him at home on a 24-hour responsive basis.
1982: St Albans and City District Hospice Care Team established
With concerns deepening about the inadequacy of services for the terminally ill, Dr Mary Groves, helped to establish the first St Albans and City District Hospice Care Team. In addition to a Home Care Volunteer Group, a team of specialist Macmillan Nurses started providing specialist care from 1984.
Ways to support us in our work
Your support is invaluable to us, whether that be donating, volunteering, participating in one of our events or fundraising on our behalf.