Hi, I'm Ruth.

I had first-hand experience of Hospice care from the outset of Graham’ first Foundation, The Ellenor when a close friend and her mother were nursed by the first nurses he appointed. I knew Graham as a friend at Church and I experienced his extraordinary love and willingness to go the second mile for the care of patients and carers so when he had a second vision, for Hospice care in Romania, I was more than ready to support this seemingly impossible venture with prayer and practical support and giving.

I was also privileged to know the pioneer nurse, Sylvia and her husband Bill, who heard the call and were prepared to go and live in Brasov, to establish hospice care, with little more than TLC, paracetamol and prayer, aided by a very faithful driver in Nelu, an interpreter, and a willing young Romanian nurse, Gabi, to train. One of her early patients was moved by her practice of praying with patient and family before leaving the home and asked her to teach her to pray, as she wanted the peace that came to her home when Sylvia prayed to be there all the time.

The first of my seven visits was in October 1997 for the opening of the Princess Diana Study Centre in Brasov for the education of doctors and nurses in palliative care and medicine. It was thrilling to meet the dedicated team of doctors, nurses, administrators, cooks cleaners and fundraisers who dedicated their skills to make hospice care a reality.

Five years on I went again for the opening of Casa Sperantei, the Hospice of Hope, or ‘Gateway to Heaven’ as some called it! The In-bed hospice for adults and the Bagpus Wing for children was such an inspiration and a milestone in the history of Romania, whose culture was only to care for those who could be treated.

Meeting Romanian Staff who visited the UK for fundraising and celebratory events and hosting their dynamic Fund Raiser for a week, I made not just contacts but friends.

I visited again in 04, and in 06 to the opening of a Clinic in Bucharest, where a legacy from my mother was used. She had made a banner for the Study Centre and embroidered a picture of the Charity’s  Eidelwiess logo for Casa Sperantei.

In 2014 I went to the opening of the second Hospice, in Bucharest after visiting Brasov to encourage the folk there. This visit gave me the opportunity I had not had previously, to visit a patient at home with nurse Alina. The patient was too poorly for me to see at the time but his mother was the carer and she was just so obviously grateful to receive the relief the nurse could give him and the gifts I took. Margareta’s face said it all! This was a very moving experience.

The new Hospice was indeed impressive and spoke volumes to officials and press about the kindness and love of strangers for the sufferings of those far less fortunate than themselves. Speaking at the opening of the Princess Diana Study center in Brasov, the then British Ambassador said this was the right thing to do, to show compassion, one human being to another, and what he witnessed there, made him proud to be British.

The wider work of the Hospices of Hope charity is now spread over four Baltic countries and is a multinational  operation with the support of many businesses and individuals like myself.  But without vision and prayer support for the work and the workers, none of these miracles would have come into being.  So….

“Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace and goodwill to all…..”

Ruth J Marden.




Ruth J Marden.