Our history



Idea of a Hospice in York suggested by four Royal College of Nursing members
1978 October
First open meeting held and Steering Committee chosen
1978 December
Steering Committee’s first meeting
1978 -1982
Informal fundraising
1982 May
Formal Appeal for £750,000 launched by Archbishop Stuart Blanch
1983 November
New Hospice foundation stone laid by Archbishop John Habgood
1984 February
Day Hospice opens one day a week
1984 September
In-patient Unit completed
1985 February 11
First in-patient admitted
1985 June 1st
Official opening by our Patron, HRH The Duchess of Kent
Day Hospice increases to two days a week
Day Hospice increases to three days a week
1990 February
Thanksgiving Service at York Minster for five years
1990 December
Extensions added to In-patient Unit and Day Care
1992 January
Day Care  increases to four days a week
1995 February
Thanksgiving Service at York Minster for ten years
1998 October
£2 million Millennium Appeal launched
1998 - 1999
First Hospice Light up a Life Christmas tree at York Station
2000 February
Thanksgiving Service at York Minster for fifteen years
2000 April
Millennium Appeal reaches £1 million
2000 July
On-site work begins for new annexe
2000 October 24
New annexe foundation stone laid by Archbishop David Hope
2001 July
£2 million Millennium Appeal target reached
2001 November
Staff and patients move into new annexe
2001 Winter
Original buildings redeveloped for Daycare
2002 July 10
Official opening of new building by HRH The Duke of York
2003 June
Hospice Weekly Prize Draw launched
2005 February
Thanksgiving Service at York Minster for twenty years
2006 Spring
Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu becomes President of the Hospice
2006 Autumn
The Stables Coffee Stop opens in the former Day Care
2008 June
First Midnight Walk in aid of the Hospice
2008 - 2009
The main entrance to the Hospice is remodelled
2009 December
Hospice@Home service is launched
Silver Jubilee Year
2010 June 6
25th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service, York Minster
2010 November 27
Thanksgiving Dinner at the National Railway Museum
2013 - 2014
Refurbishment of Day Care, Family Area, Chapel and
In-patient Unit as a result of a grant from the Department of Health
St Leonard's Celebrates its 30th Anniversary of caring for local people.  You can learn more about our history here.
2016 January
We revolutionised the Sunflower Centre timetable to include more tailored support services for patients, their families and carers.

2017 November 6

On St Leonard's Day, the Memory Tree was revealed by Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, complemented by the newly landscaped gardens.

2019 March 20
First year of Lights on the Lake in aid of the Hospice