I was the Founder and Pioneer of the Nottinghamshire Hospice. I was approached in 1977 by a Masonic Lodge of Freemasons in Nottingham predominately made up of Doctors to start a much needed Hospice in. They needed a person with business experience with a dynamic personality who feared little or as the saying goes ‘ Where Angels feared to tread’.

Due to the fact that I had a business which ran itself founded by my Grandfather, which had been going for over 60 years, this enabled me to give 3 years of my life to developing the Nottinghamshire Hospice.

Little, if anything, was known in Nottingham about the Hospice movement therefore I made a point of visiting many Hospices in the UK to learn about the movement. It was obvious to me that I needed the support of the medical profession before setting this up to enable me to convince the medical world of the workings of a hospice movement.
My friend Doctor Neville Stebbings from the Hyson Green Medical Centre agreed to assist me. I approached The Convent and as a result Sister Mary agreed to be the first Matron. Sister Mary’s background was that she was the Chief nursing officer of the London Hospital.

Over a 2 years period of time Susan and I arranged various meetings at our home to get other people involved so they could form fund raising committees. I met around 40 religious orders inviting them to participate in the hospice. I was very aware that religion plays a vital role within the Hospice.

The current premises was known as Fernleigh. I negotiated with the County Council and the result was that we were given the premises at a pepper corn rent. This took a lot of hard work. Over a period of a year the Hospice was first known as The Hospice, then changed to the Nottingham Hospice and finally The Nottinghamshire Hospice.
We now had an empty dilapidated building and I then set about the task of approaching various industries looking for furniture, carpet and paint. By this time people started to become aware of the work and volunteers came forward for cleaning, paining, plumbing and electrics etc

Susan, Sarah, Sister Mary made the many fires in the early mornings and they also did the cooking.  I paid for the food at the time from my own pocket. Sister Mary and I did the domiciliary work before we were able to get people to join us. I was able to get the Hospice acknowledged by The Queen Mother who gave the Hospice a generous donation. The publicity the Evening Post gave us enabled our cause to become widespread.

I am now 75 years of age and not of good health but obviously very proud of my work setting up the foundations of the Hospice. I am not looking for personal glory but feel the people of Nottingham should be aware of History of the Nottingham Hospice for future generations.

David Klein

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