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Leaving a Lasting Legacy

It’s hard to believe that just 37 years ago, Nelson had no hospice services.

In 1983, a working group formed in Nelson with Bev Parkes, Douglas Short, Merle Moffat, Gail Deaker, John Emmanuel, Shirley Walker, Barbara White, Rob Riley, Andrew Divett, and Terry Gavin, who all recognised the need for hospice care. The next year, the Nelson Hospital Board announced plans to establish hospice services in the region. Their biggest challenge would be funding. However, thanks to a bequest, by 1986, Nelson Tasman Hospice
began as ‘Hospice at Home,’ providing in-home care for people with a terminal illness.

The bequest came from Sally McCormack, who died from breast cancer in 1983. Sally left a portion of her estate – $65,000 – to establish a hospice service in Nelson. According to Bev Parkes, as quoted in ‘At Home with Hospice: Stories from 30 Years in Nelson Tasman,’ “The bequest was an impetus for the Hospital Board to say, ‘We have this money, now we really have to make this work.’”

Nelson’s Hospice had its first taste of independence when it was moved to a Nelson Hospital Board-owned villa at 96 Waimea Road. This villa was aptly named ‘Sally McCormack House,’ acknowledging the contribution that promptly initiated the establishment of a base for hospice staff and services. As Bev noted, “It could well have taken years without the bequest.”

Since then, Nelson Tasman Hospice has grown into an organisation that delivers specialist, interdisciplinary palliative care. This holistic approach
encompasses the core value of hospice care and is so important to people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on physical symptoms, as well as supporting patients and their whānau with the social, emotional, and spiritual impact of their illness. The specialist services provided are based on the needs of the patient and whānau. Hospice care is available throughout the Nelson Tasman region and is provided in the home, in aged-care facilities, in hospitals, and in our purpose-built Specialist Palliative Care Unit (SPCU).

Sally McCormack’s legacy has been celebrated in many ways.

Notably, in 1989, the support group ‘The Friends of Sally McCormack House’ was established. In 1991, the Motueka service was renamed the ‘Sally McCormick Service,’ and a fund for donations was called the ‘Sally McCormack Trust Fund.’ Sally McCormack House served as hospice’s residence until 1999. Sally’s legacy continues at the new Suffolk Road facility, with the ‘Sally McCormack Room’; a boardroom situated next to the community nurse’s station.

Sally McCormack’s bequest laid the cornerstone for Nelson Tasman Hospice’s evolution, which has grown into a vital specialist palliative care service for the Nelson Tasman community. Her legacy of giving has been joined by other generous gifts in wills ensuring this legacy continues. Sally’s memory lives on through the support offered to those in need, a testament to the enduring impact of a compassionate community.

September is Wills Month

September marks New Zealand’s ‘Wills Month’, a time when the important yet delicate conversation of end-of-life planning is openly talked about and

Back in 1986, Nelson Tasman Hospice, originally known as ‘Hospice at Home’, was established thanks to the generosity of Sally McCormack’s bequest. Today, the specialist palliative care provided by Hospice is integral to the fabric of the Nelson Tasman community offering much-needed comfort and
support at a time when people need it the most.

Every year, the Nelson Tasman Region Hospice Trust relies on the generosity of the community to help bridge its funding shortfall, which comes to
around $3.5 million. This united effort allows the hospice to continue its mission of providing free services to those in need.

The Nelson Tasman Hospice Region Trust makes a big difference in the lives of many people in the community thanks to the support of everyday people like you. If you are considering leaving a gift to Nelson Tasman Hospice services in your will, you can do this knowing that you’re helping to make the region’s future better.

A bequest can take various forms—property, investments, or a portion of your estate. Since a will is a legal document, it’s important to seek the right advice and wording. A solicitor, or another entity that specialises in wills, can help answer any questions you may have. Whatever the choice, leaving a bequest to the Nelson Tasman Hospice Region will undoubtedly leave behind a legacy of care and compassion.

To learn more about leaving a bequest for Nelson Tasman Hospice, contact Donna Ching-Tregidga, Head of Supporter Engagement and Income Development

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