Hospiscare launched in 1982 with just two Exeter community nurses and massive community support which continues today.

The charity was started by Dr John Searle when he moved to Exeter and worked with the Bishop of Crediton to initiate a local hospice service. In 1982 more than 400 people crowded into Exeter's Guildhall when a £350,000 public appeal was launched to establish a community based nurse service covering six miles from the cathedral.

Sister charities

Sister charities were established by local people in the 1980’s in Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth. Local people raised funds to pay for Hospiscare nurses in their areas.

1989 Hospice appeal

A £1.6m appeal was launched to build a hospice in Dryden Road staffed by consultants, doctors and nurses to provide pain relief and symptom control.

1992 Hospice opens

In 1992, the Duchess of Kent opened our 12 bed ward and day services centre.

Hospiscare community nurses and volunteers now covered Exeter, Mid and East Devon. Volunteers were crucial, working with patients and families and as fundraisers. Hospiscare was run mainly by its trustees and other volunteers but now administrative staff were employed and fundraising activities stepped up.

1995 Hospital nurse

Hospiscare appointed a specialist nurse to work at the RD&E Hospital to visit patients and provide education.

2006/2008 Hospice expansion

In 2006, due to a generous legacy, new visitor accommodation was opened allowing families to stay close to the ward, and the ward was refurbished and improved. The day centre was expanded and a dedicated education suite opened in 2008, as well as refurbishment and expansion of catering facilities.

2010/11 New day hospice for Mid Devon

In 2010 the Mid Devon Appeal was successfully launched and a government grant led to Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex opening Tiverton’s Pine Lodge Day Hospice in 2011.

Hospiscare’s 1,000 plus volunteers received the Queen’s Award for Volunteering Services.

2014/15 New day hospice for East Devon

The East Devon Day Hospice appeal launched in 2014 and a year later Kings House Day Hospice in Honiton was opened by Olympian Jo Pavey, who lives locally.