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About St Gemma’s Hospice

St Gemma’s Hospice is a Leeds-based charity providing expert care and support for local people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses. We offer care to patients and their carers in the Hospice’s In-Patient Unit, through the St Gemma’s community team and via our day services, which includes a Day Hospice and Out-Patient Department.

St Gemma’s welcomes and provides care to everyone regardless of people’s age, gender, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or diagnosis. Our care is always completely free of charge.

St Gemma’s is the largest hospice in Yorkshire and one of the largest in the UK.

Learn more about St Gemma’s Hospice:

Our History

The Hospice was founded by the Sisters of the Cross & Passion and opened in 1978.

The large house in the grounds of the Hospice, originally called the Grange, was the home of a local wine merchant. In 1945 it was bought by Canon McShane, a local priest, and became a centre for worship. It was the priest’s residence until the Broomhill estate was acquired as the site for the new church.

In 1949 the Sisters of the Cross & Passion acquired the property as a convent. The Sister began a school that continued until the 1970s, when the Sisters decided to withdraw from independent schools and focus their resources and energy in an area of greater need. This decision led to the closure of this popular school in Moortown.

The Sisters reconsidered how the site could best be used; an exploration of local needs and a timely Radio 4 programme about care of people with terminal illness seemed to point emphatically to the need for a hospice. A decision was made, the project gathered momentum and St Gemma’s was launched at a public meeting in Leeds Town Hall in October 1977.

It was a real act of faith given that the Sisters did not yet have the money for the project.

As the school had been called St Gemma’s it was decided to keep this name as it seemed apt for the new work of a hospice.

Who is Saint Gemma?

On 12 March 1978 the new 9-bed unit was dedicated and opened its doors to the first patients a month later on 12 April 1978.

Original St Gemma's hospice
The original Hospice building

1982 saw further expansion in bed space when a new building was formally opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales on 30 March. Princess Diana returned in 1991 to open the newly built Prout Conference Centre.

In May 2000, a major refurbishment began to keep pace with the ever increasing challenges as we continue caring for people from all parts of the community with advanced life-threatening and progressive diseases.

In 2017 we were officially awarded ‘University Teaching Hospice’ status – the first Hospice to be formally recognised as a university teaching hospice – in recognition of the substantial research and teaching activities St Gemma’s carries out. Find out more about how we achieved university teaching hospice status and what this means for our patient care at St Gemma’s.

Our Vision and Purpose

Our Vision
The needs of people living with a terminal illness and those close to them are met with care, compassion and skill.

Our Purpose
St Gemma’s Hospice acknowledges the value of life and the importance of dignity in death.
We provide and promote the highest quality palliative and end of life care, education and research.

How St Gemma’s is Funded

The running costs of St Gemma’s Hospice are forecast to be around £11 million over the next financial year. This year, 28% of St Gemma’s running costs will be given by the NHS. This means that 72% of our funds need to be raised from the generous local community, through donations, gifts left in wills, fundraising initiatives, a lottery and our chain of charity shops.

For every £1 you donate to St Gemma’s Hospice, 89p goes directly to supporting the vital work of the Hospice and helps to raise the next £1.

St Gemma’s is rooted in the local community and would not be able to care for local people with life-threatening illnesses without the public’s valuable and ongoing support. Everyone associated with the Hospice is extremely grateful to all those who contribute.

Our Values

Treating each person with kindness, empathy, compassion and respect

Continually learning and developing; striving for excellence in everything we do

Delivering high standards through team work, a skilled workforce and good governance