After several years of searching a number of locations which did not materialise, this ideal property at its location became available to Dorset Children’s Hospice. Extensive interior renovations and changes, including construction of a garden sunroom, were carried out to specifically accommodate the dear children and their families.
A number of local and national companies very kindly provided services and equipment at specially privileged prices, costs and anyone who visits on one of the opening days cannot fail to be extremely impressed.
One of these was Guy Ritchie, who met a team from Julia’s House at 10 Downing Street for an award presentation. He was suitably moved and impressed that a Clay Pigeon Shoot was organised at his Dorset home with a number of celebrities in attendance and this resulted in some 2 million pounds being raised which enabled this splendid charity extending into Wiltshire with the new hospice at Devizes.
The wonderful and highly acclaimed Paediatric Nurse Julia Perks very sadly was lost to us at the beginning of this wonderful and successful story, which came from her passionate desire to have a Dorset Children’s Hospice. At that time there was virtually no support from the Government of local authorities. A situation which many people found very hard to understand.
The batten was taken up by the legendary Mike Wise MBE, now Life President of Julia’s House, suffering with the dreadful ravages of Parkinson’s. The selection of highly talented Chief Executive Martin Edwards and the way in which everything is run through trustees, was very much Mike’s desire and creation. All concerned cannot praise this wonderful man too highly. He has become a very close personal friend to my wife Susi and myself. I will always remember the look on his face when he carried the Olympic Torch through a Dorset Village.
In conclusion, this splendid charity has won many awards and mostly for its exceedingly financial success, not just millions of pounds raised but the extremely low running costs.
Julia’s House has attracted many celebrities, including patrons Martin Clunes, Guy Ritchie, Sting and his wife Trudie, Nigel Havers, Harry Redknapp, Eddie Howe, are just but a few who have realised what an extremely well run charity this is and given much moral support.
For a number of years I had been organising a Golf Competition for Julia’s House, when approached for the construction of a Garden Sun Room, it was possible for me to approach various manufacturing suppliers and this project was completed not only at a substantially reduced overall cost but the monies raised from 15 years of golf competitions, has more than covered the balance.
For some years now this golf competition has been held at the splendid Isle of Purbeck Golf Club, which much support from the owner David and this is the 15th anniversary. It is certainly anticipated that we should again raise in the order of £15,000 on that day.
For the main structure of the garden sunroom the latest Thermally Efficient Architectural Powder Coated Aluminium was used for long term durability and lack of maintenance. It has proved to be a splendid room for families to relax within the superbly designed gardens and play area, in a light and bright, spiritually and uplifting atmosphere.
There are many splendid open days at the Corfe Mullen and Devizes Hospices and I would certainly recommend visiting one of these special days if you wished to learn more about how this wonderful charity is won. May I ask you to spread the word and in particular if the name Julia’s House comes up in conversation. If you have friends who live out of the area, then they may well be interested in finding out where their local children’s hospice is and how they can help to support the wonderful people who run these.