Name:  sfs-opening.JPG
Views: 0
Size:  173.7 KB

A community hero is to open this year's show. Rather than a celebrity to open the Show, it felt more appropriate to select someone local. People were asked to nominate local people and Dr Karen Groves MBE of Queenscourt Hospice was chosen.

Dr. Groves's work has touched the lives of thousands of patients and their families across Southport and as she is retiring this year, it makes her a very deserving choice.

She and her sister Sarah were the inspiration and driving force behind the creation of Queenscourt Hospice.

After qualifying as a medical doctor from Liverpool University in 1979, Dr. Groves first identified the need for better end of life care after experiencing two particularly traumatic deaths in young women.

She went on to work as a GP in the Southport area for over 12 years and it was during this time that she and her sister Sarah, a nurse, sought advice from Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement in London.

On their return they inspired a small group of people to begin fundraising and after much hard work, planning permission for Queenscourt Hospice was granted in December 1988.

Mayor Cllr Maureen Fearn cut the first turf on March 14th, 1990 and planted a copper beech tree which still grows to the left of the entrance to what is now the Terence Burgess Education Centre.

The Hospice building was handed over on March 1st, 1991 and the next two months were spent fitting it out ready for occupation.

Queenscourt opened its Day Therapy and five inpatient beds on June 1st 1991 and later that year increased to a 10-bed ward.

The following year, Diana Princess of Wales officially opened Queenscourt. Dr Groves had been a volunteer doctor at the hospice for five years, while still working full time as a GP, until she was appointed as Medical Officer in 1995.

In 1996, she became the first local consultant in Palliative Medicine; in 2012, Dr Groves was awarded an honorary degree from Edge Hill University and in 2014 received an MBE for Services to Palliative Care.

Southport Flower Show is on for fours days August 18th to 21st.