St Peter & St James Hospice is delighted to announce Dame Vera Lynn’s new position as a special present to coincide with its Patron’s 99th birthday.

Dame Vera has been connected with the Hospice for many years and the Board of Trustees and all at the Hospice were pleased to give their Patron this special accolade of becoming Honorary President.

Having been a strong supporter of the Hospice for many years, Dame Vera has seen many changes and improvements. Back in 1995, she officially opened the Day Centre and, more recently, was involved in the celebrations when Beacon View Wellbeing Centre opened in 2014. Her daughter, Virginia, has been a keen volunteer at the Hospice for a number of years, providing care to many patients.

Dame Vera Lynn said, “I have been associated with St Peter & St James for many happy years, and I am so glad that the Charity continues to do such good work. I shall raise a glass at my Birthday Tea to all those that work there, including of course the Volunteers. Long may St Peter & St James continue to be supported.”

“I have been involved with St Peter & St James as a Volunteer for many, many years and I enjoy every minute of it. It’s wonderful to feel that perhaps I am helping people to get a little better about themselves. One can only try. It’s also great working with all the lovely staff. St Peter & St James has such a great uplifting and caring atmosphere. Long may it reign,” said Virginia Lewis-Jones.

Colin Burgess, Chief Executive of St Peter & St James Hospice, said, “Just as Dame Vera has supported the Hospice over many years, we were delighted to celebrate her very special birthday with this invitation to become Honorary President of St Peter & St James.  We are honoured that she has accepted the invitation and all the staff, volunteers and patients join with me in wishing her congratulations and a very happy birthday.”

All the Hospice services are provided free of charge to patients and loved ones and St Peter & St James relies on its local community for 86% of its funds, as just 14% comes from the Government. St Peter & St James cares for patients from Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Lewes, Uckfield and surrounding villages. With a population of 200,000, if every person in the catchment area gave just £1 a month this would nearly cover the running costs.