Friends, family, people we work with – it is likely all of us know someone who has been helped by the services offered by Peace Hospice Care.

Since it opened almost 25 years ago, the charity’s staff and volunteers have supported thousands of people with life limiting illnesses and their loved ones.

Throughout its history The Watford Observer, like our community, has donated, organised fundraising events and promoted Peace Hospice Care to help it achieve the necessary funds to keep going and provide its vital services year on year.

Now, in its landmark anniversary year, the Observer has chosen Peace Hospice Care as its charity of the year and is joining forces with them to launch The Every Day Matters Appeal, which aims to raise £120,000.

The appeal is also about giving readers an insight into what happens at the hospice every day and why each day is important to those the charity supports.

Declan Carroll, chief executive of Peace Hospice Care, said: “The local community, including the Watford Observer, have always played an instrumental part in developing the hospice into what we are today and we are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the newspaper’s charity partner for the year.

“We’ve always been lucky enough to have the support of the local community and the Every Day Matters campaign really focuses on what is at the heart of hospice care, making every day count.

“This year Peace Hospice Care has reached an important milestone in its history, but we haven’t done it alone. 25 years ago a group of passionate local people campaigned and raised funds to set up The South West Hertfordshire Trust in order to help local people facing a life limiting illness. 

“Now it’s more important than ever that we continue to build on those foundations so we can continue to provide outstanding specialist care and support to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and carers facing a life limiting illness.”

Each year the charity needs to raise over £5 million in order to run and develop its services yet only 23 per cent is funded through the NHS.

Services include the Inpatient Unit, Hospice at Home Service, rehabilitation and wellbeing services through its Starlight Centre, a Herts Neighbours befriending service and bereavement support.

Throughout its anniversary year, Peace Hospice Care is encouraging people to support it however they can by donating to the appeal, taking part in fundraising events, shopping in one of its 14 charity shops, its ebay site or remembering them in their will.

The £120,000 raised through the Every Day Matters Appeal will specifically go towards refurbishing the 15-year-old bedrooms and en-suites in its 12-bed inpatient unit along with providing specialist nurse salaries.

More than 230 people are admitted to the rooms each year, not including the 40 to 45 friends and family members who visit individuals on average each day, or those who choose to stay in our family room.

Mr Carroll added: “There is something very special about the collective heartbeat of a community that is able to pull together.

“I am confident that with the reader’s help Peace Hospice Care will continue to play a vital role in our community and together we will do everything we can to keep it that way.”

Last year, through the Gannett Foundation, the Watford Observer contributed £10,000 towards new mattresses and beds.

Watford Observer editor Tim Jones said the staff and volunteers at Peace Hospice Care were an inspiration and he was delighted to name it the newspaper’s charity of the year.

He said: “As a newspaper with the interests of the local community at its heart, the Watford Observer has been a proud supporter of the Peace Hospice from the very start.

“I can think of no better way for us to mark the 25th anniversary than by naming the hospice as our charity of the year.

“I have personally seen the enthusiasm and dedication of the staff and volunteers who make the hospice an inspiration to us all. We will be urging our staff and readers to dig deep into their pockets to support the campaign.”

To donate call 01923 330340, click on the donate button on the homepage of the website or fill in the form below and send it back to: Freepost RTKA-RCYT-AUEL, Peace Hospice Care, Peace Drive, Watford, WD17 3PH.