“The care we provide is only possible thanks to gifts left in people’s wills. They are so vital that we wanted to find a way to truly express our gratitude to those individuals who donate in this incredible way; those who will help us be here forever.”
Mary Brooks, a North Devon Hospice nurse of 25 years and now a trustee of the charity, explained why a very special monument was unveiled this week. The Forever Stone is a symbol of eternal gratitude to people who leave a gift to the hospice in their will. Cut from local slate at nearby Hearson Quarry, with an iconic hole cut by Diamond Drilling, and installed by Loosemore Builders, it stands in the hospice gardens as a reminder of the generosity of individuals whose gifts will help ensure the care provided will continue forever.
“The future care of our patients and families is reliant on gifts in wills,” said Mary, who was chosen to unveil The Forever Stone after her three decades of service. “Every year a few inspirational people leave us a legacy, which means we are able to continue caring for people at the hospice as well as in the comfort of their own homes. Gifts like this account for almost a third of the care we provide, so it is easy to see why they are so vital to the hospice. This is why The Forever Stone has been installed in our gardens, we wanted a permanent memorial to people who remember the hospice in this way.”
Hidden within The Forever Stone will be the names and some words from people who leave a gift to the hospice in their will. These messages will be revealed thanks to a special ‘Augmented Reality’ iPad app, developed by local creative agency Bray Leino.
“Every gift left in someone’s will has a very personal story.” said Mary. “We wanted to recognise those people who leave us a legacy and this is a very innovative way of doing that. The Forever Stone allows us to add names and stories for many years to come. We are incredibly grateful to Bray Leino for providing this high-tech solution, completely free of charge. It will be a lovely way for families to come and explore the stone and for them to learn about the people whose gifts are helping the hospice keep caring.”
Ali Hunt, Head of Fundraising at North Devon Hospice, said that it was a momentous occasion for the charity that would hopefully spark wider conversation. “We hope that The Forever Stone will encourage people to talk about making their will. Amazingly, more than two-thirds of people do not have a will. In reality it is a quick and inexpensive thing to do, but it is also absolutely vital. We hope that people are inspired to remember North Devon Hospice when making or amending their will, because it is only with these gifts that we can be here forever.”
Ali added, “More than 2,000 local people are supported by the hospice every year, and around one third of this care is provided thanks to gifts in wills. So The Forever Stone helps us raise awareness of the importance of such gifts, while honouring the incredible people who support us in this way.”
For more information about The Forever Stone, or about leaving a gift to North Devon Hospice in your will, please visit www.northdevonhospice.org.uk.