On Saturday, 4th May we celebrated 25 years of the Lawrence Home Nursing Team. Dr Martin Lawrence wrote the guidelines for the charity in 1999 shortly before he died which was then carried forward by district nurse, Jane Phillips MBE and Jenny Nolan MBE who became the charity’s first Registered Nurse Manager.

It was Martin’s wish that his patients should be able to choose to die at home and this wish continues to be fulfilled. Lawrence Nurses have cared for 1327 patients to date in the Chipping Norton area with a team of 18 registered nurses providing free palliative care free to people in their home. This is a local success story illustrating the determination of members of the community.

Present at the Town Hall were past and current nurses, volunteers, employees and trustees including Martin’s widow Annette Lawrence, Danny Phillips (Jane’s son), Anna Jo Mathers (Martin’s daughter), Jenny Nolan and nurses Alison Nicholls and Jane Evans. Jane nursed Martin at KHH and joined Lawrence Nurses in 2010. Alison started as a nurse in February 2000 before becoming a nurse coordinator in 2016.

Alison gave a moving speech about the care the team give patients at the end of life whether from cancer or other life limiting diseases.
She also emphasised that patients can self-refer and can receive a compassionate listening response when coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis. Her plea was that we should all plan for the inevitable including preparing wills, Power of Attorney and putting in place a digital legacy.

Russell Hancock of Extra Strong Design explained the rebranding of the charity with the emphasis on the vision of both Martin and Jane coming together like the roots of two trees in a new logo and the new name Lawrence Nurses.

Guests enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea and music by Arthur Taylor and the Eight In A Bar Choir. A team of volunteers, including those from the charity’s partner, Zurich Community Trust, organised a prize raffle.

It was an afternoon to remember and celebrate 25 years of this amazing local charity.