Our History

Dr Peter Gillam
Dr Peter Gillam


Salisbury Hospice Charity (formerly Salisbury Hospicecare Trust) was set up in 1981 to provide palliative care and support for terminally ill patients and their families and friends within the Salisbury area. Under the chairmanship of Dr Peter Gillam, the hospice team initially worked from an office at the Old Infirmary in Fisherton Street, but by 1987 had a purpose-built facility at Salisbury District Hospital. Initially able to accommodate six patients, the hospice has been extended over the years and now has ten beds, a day room, administrative offices, an education centre and a wildlife garden.

There have been many milestones since the founding of the charity:

2001: At a garden party to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the charity, Derrick Alford received a presentation upon his resignation as trustee after many years’ service. The Peter Gillam Day Centre was refurbished to include an activity area for visiting patients.

Derrick AlfordDerrick Alford

2003: Derrick Alford received the MBE from Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his work for the charity and the new relatives' room was named The Alford Room in recognition of both Derrick and Vida Alfords’ support.

2005: The charity donated £250,000 towards the cost of the Pembroke Unit, the new cancer treatment unit at Salisbury District Hospital. The charity also undertook the funding of the occupational and physiotherapy services at an annual cost of £60,000.

2006: In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the charity became the keeper of the Millennium Flame for a twelve-month period. The Flame, originally used by Her Majesty the Queen to light a beacon on the River Thames at midnight on 31st December 1999, travelled the country raising funds for charity and was used in several fundraising events in and around Salisbury before being returned to London in 2007.

2008: The year in which Dr Peter Gillam sadly died, saw operating expenditure exceed £1 million for the first time, necessitating a review of fundraising activities including the introduction of the Midnight Walk, now a regular event in Salisbury’s fundraising calendar.

2011: The appointment of the charity’s first chief executive, heralded a new phase in the development of the charity and there will be many exciting changes in the years to come. Sadly, Derrick Alford died at the end of the year.

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