Oxford Mail:

Christian Bunt, Thames Valley Police LPA Commander for Oxford, said: "The respite care it provides to families is amazing.

"The staff and volunteers do some really, really good work. The charity provides is a really important amenity, one of the most important, in the city of Oxford.

"The work they do has a great impact on the lives of a lot of people they help."

Oxford Mail:

The outgoing chief executive of Age UK Oxfordshire Paul Cann has given a ringing endorsement to Sobell House in both a personal and professional capacity.

Mr Cann has worked with the county-wide charity, which also offers end-of-life and bereavement advice for hundreds of thousands in Oxfordshire, for 16 years and is leaving this November. He said: "I would describe Michael Sobell as a visionary leader in palliative care.

"In a world where very often people are failed in their dying, Sobell has led the way in practice and inspired and supported many people to have as good a death as possible.

"I have seen that personally but I also know of that professionally."

Oxford Mail:

Veteran fundraiser Trish Wagstaff is urging people across Oxfordshire to raise funds for Sobell House.

Mrs Wagstaff, 84, earlier this month completed a wing walk to raise more than £20,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Until a few years ago the mum-of-two and grandmother from Appleton near Abingdon was a volunteer at Sobell House hospice, and over 25 years raised £120,000 for the charity.

She said: "Sobell House is a fantastic place and everyone should support it.

"I was a volunteer in the day centre where we used to have a lot of fun and a sing-song - people need cheering up.

"I think it's a good idea to improve facilities at Sobell House - people should get behind this."

As well as the wing walk, Mrs Wagstaff has completed a parachute jump and walked along a zip-wire.

In 2012 she was honoured with a British Empire Medal for her services to charity.

Oxford Mail:

Former England footballer Martin Keown, whose father and mother-in-law have both been supported by Sobell House, backed the Oxford Mail’s fundraising campaign.

The North Oxford man’s father Raymond, who died in January, benefitted from the hospice’s Community Palliative Care Support and his mother-in-law Maureen Cox spent her last 24 hours in the hospice before losing her battle with breast cancer in 1996.

The ex-Arsenal defender urged people to support the project. He said: “It’s comforting to have that sort of place in the area particularly when your loved ones need it.

They were very supportive and caring at a very difficult time and it’s so important what they do. We did have difficulty getting a space in the hospice so the expansion is welcome and it’s a great cause.”

The Mayor of Didcot Steve Connel described the care offered by Sobell House to be “one of a kind.”

Mr Connel said that over its 40 years, the hospice in Headington provided care and family support that could not be matched anywhere else in the area.

He said: “At Sobell they do not just support the patients. They are there for the families, friends and carers.

“A lot of organisations are very focused on the patients when actually making sure the families are able to be close by during that time in someone’s life means a lot.

“And for us to have this care on our doorstep, shows how lucky we are.”

Oxford Mail:

Wantage charity champion Ray Collins has helped raise hundreds of pounds for Sobell and visited on several occasions.

He said one of the things which struck him most was that as well as the tea and coffee, residents were also able to pick an afternoon snifter from the alcohol trolley.

Mr Collins, who manages Peter Ledbury electricals in Wantage, said: “I suppose that is part of end-of-life care, they cater for whatever the patients need.

“It feels relaxed but professional. You can’t put a price on the comfort it brings to families, even afterwards.”

He added: “Someone said to me the other day when she got cancer it felt like her whole family got cancer – everyone feels it, but Sobell really do care for whole families.

“It is a warm, friendly environment.”

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