When Sylvia Graucob’s husband Find died in 1978, Sylvia began to consider what should be done with the family home, Overgate. In 1979, Sylvia met with Dr Quinn, one of two doctors looking to set-up Calderdale’s first Hospice, who inspired her with his vision of what a hospice could provide for the community. In those days there were only 60 hospices in the whole country so barely anybody knew much about them. Sylvia decided to donate the house so that Overgate Hospice could be established.
In 1981 the first part of the building to open was the upper floor, which had been the family bedrooms, as an Inpatient Unit. At the same time the first Palliative Care nurse post in Calderdale was introduced allowing the local community better access to specialist palliative care. The demand for the Hospice grew and in 1994, following huge fundraising support from the local community, a new purpose-built inpatient unit with 12 beds was opened by the Duchess of Norfolk. Our Day Hospice was opened in 1995 on the first floor of the house. The aim was to provide supportive palliative care to those with life-limiting illnesses prior to the need for inpatient care. The Day Hospice has also been considerably expanded; with its own purpose-built space opening in 2005. In 2011, a further extension was built to offer patients more space and better facilities.
The Hospice is continually growing to better serve the Calderdale community and ensure our services are available for years to come, and all of this has grown from that one incredible gift from Sylvia. Sylvia continued to support Overgate until her death in 2017, visiting each year and acting as Patron to the charity for many years. As Overgate Hospice celebrates its 40th anniversary, we continue to remember Sylvia and her selfless gift to the community she was part of. But we also celebrate the Calderdale community, whose devoted support has secured Sylvia’s legacy for so many years and helped to continue her vision for a special place for local people to turn to in their time of need.