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Friends Of The Oaks : The Palliative Care Day Centre : Elgin Scotland

Friends Of The Oaks : The Palliative Care Day Centre : Elgin Scotland

The History Of The Oaks

In September 1995, Libby Mitchell, a local Elgin woman who suffers from Primary Lymphoedema approached Elgin's Northern Scot newspaper, who on 29th of September 1995 published an interview with Libby regarding her desire for a palliative care centre in Moray.

With the assistance of the Moray Voluntary Services Organisation (MVSO), a public meeting was held in Elgin on November 21st. 

This meeting was very well attended by people from all over Moray, names were volunteered, and from those The Moray Hospice Steering Committee was formed (H.I.M.). Their inaugural meeting was held in November of 1995.

Professor John Welsh, Scotland's only Professor in Palliative Medicine wrote the Committee that he "Would be pleased to help in any way this exciting venture".  Support from Professor Welsh was absolutely crucial.

Fundraising for the Hospice Campaign was started throughout Moray, and the very first donation for the H.I.M. Campaign was a donation of £130.00 from the pupils of Milne's High School in Fochabers.


On April 15th 1996 a second Hospice In Moray public meeting was held in the Supper Room of Elgin Town Hall in support of a hospice for Moray, and was attended by hundreds of people. That evening, Mrs Margaret Ewing MP promised to raise the issue at the Scottish Grand Committee.


In March of 1997 the Moray Hospice Steering Committee held a private meeting with Michael Forsyth MP, the then Secretary of State for Scotland. He advised the committee that a business proposal be drawn up, recognising that there would be a hard struggle ahead due to opposition to the idea in some quarters. How true this turned out to be!

In April 1997 the late Diana Princess of Wales wrote a letter of support to The Moray Hospice Steering Committee which was to be read at a Rally arranged for November 1997. Her tragic death was a great blow, as Diana was to continue her interest in, and support for the work of the H.I.M. Committee.

In June 1997 the first meeting with the H.I.M. Committee and the Moray Council was held regarding the Hospice, the results of which were very encouraging.

November 11th 1997 saw the publication and launch of the H.I.M. Business Proposal, which proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the need for a Day Hospice in Moray.

On November 20th 1997, a Petition to Parliament was launched at a H.I.M. Campaign Rally in Elgin Town Hall.

In December 1997, The Moray Trades Union Council unanimously agreed to back the H.I.M. Campaign.


February 27th in 1998 saw Margaret Ewing MP presenting an 8,000 signature Petition to Parliament in support of The Hospice. The signatures were gathered in only 8 weeks.

On December 15th 1998, Grampian Health Board announced at a Public Meeting in Elgin Town Hall that a specialist palliative care unit was to be built and run by the NHS.  After this meeting, Macmillan Cancer Relief joined in the planning.


On September the 11th 1999, the Moray Hospice Appeal was launched by Macmillan, and the Moray Council announced they agreed in principle to convey a site for The Oaks to the people of Moray at a nominal sum.

Later that month, it was revealed that the Greenfield site at Sherriffmill Road in Elgin was to be the site for the new Oaks Palliative Care Day Unit.


In April 2002, work began on the construction of The Oaks, and on May 16th 2002 an official site ceremony was held with all involved parties.

A Public Meeting was held in Elgin Library on November 20th 2002, where The H.I.M. Campaign was renamed, and The Friends of The Oaks Charity was launched to continue it's support and fundraising for The Oaks
Palliative Care Day Unit.


On February 20th 2003 the H.I.M. Committee were invited to address the Cross Party Committee in Palliative Care at the Scottish Parliament, a presentation which was very well received.

As The Oaks is now open, our Committee would like to thank the people of Moray for their constant support and encouragement since 1995.

"From Little Acorns, Come Great Oaks".

Friends Of The Oaks : The Palliative Care Day Centre : Elgin Scotland

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