It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our founder Patron, Marianna, Viscountess Monckton of Brenchley, who died peacefully at home on 5 July 2022 at the age of 93.
Lady Monckton was a passionate and dedicated supporter of Heart of Kent Hospice, and we are forever grateful for her time, energy, friendship, and wise counsel, given over so many years.
Lady Monckton was initially invited to join the Hospice Appeal in 1987 to help raise the funds to build the hospice. Over the years and decades, she has been extremely generous, not only in the amount of time and support she has given to the Hospice, its patients, colleagues, and volunteers but also in the money she has raised through hosting events, introducing us to her friends and from charitable trusts.
Shortly before our Hospice building was opened Lady Monckton was asked to be our Patron and she has been so ever since.
Rachel Street, Chief Executive of Heart of Kent Hospice, recounted: “Lady Monckton was a woman driven by duty and loyalty to the causes she supported. She was immensely funny and engaging, full of passion and compassion. She was utterly dedicated to the Hospice and cared deeply that it prospered.”
Every Christmas Day without fail Lady Monckton would come into the Hospice and give out homemade mince pies, and throughout the year she would often pop into the Hospice, have lunch in the café, and wander around visiting patients and listening to their stories.
There are so many happy memories and outstanding events from her time as our Patron. From planning our official opening in 1992 in which she was successful in inviting Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales to visit and officially open the Hospice, to attending the annual Lady Monckton Awards to pay tribute to our colleagues and volunteers for their long service and loyalty to the Hospice.
“She was known for her devilish sense of humour and, often at the end of the Lady Monckton Awards, instead of giving a speech, she was as likely to read out a whimsical or ridiculous poem sending everyone present into fits of laughter,” Rachel remembered.
Spending time in Lady Monckton’s company was endlessly fascinating. She had a remarkable and interesting life with many tales to tell. Some of them went back to her husband’s father, Sir Walter Monckton, who was an adviser to Churchill and friend and legal adviser to Edward VIII.
Rachel continued: “For me and the Chief Executives of Heart of Kent Hospice before me, we will be eternally grateful for Lady Monckton’s wise counsel. She was very caring and supportive of the Chief Executives and the Chairs and was extremely well respected. She used to attend our Board meetings and was always direct and considered in her opinions.”
Jim Barker-McCardle, former Chair of the Trustees also paid tribute to Lady Monckton: “Lady Monckton was a plain-speaking woman with a warm heart, who cared deeply for the Hospice. We are so grateful for her patronage, which has helped raise the profile of the Hospice and raise the funds to provide compassionate care to all those with a terminal illness who need it. She will be very much missed by everyone at Heart of Kent Hospice and our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.”
To find out more about Heart of Kent Hospice visit www.hokh.org
Heart of Kent Hospice has been providing free, compassionate, end-of-life care to people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones in Maidstone, Aylesford, Tonbridge and Malling and the surrounding towns and villages for the past 31 years.
The Hospice has built an excellent reputation within the local community for the quality of our care, which has been further endorsed by the Care Quality Commission who awarded us with an overall rating of ‘Outstanding’ following an inspection in February 2017.
Our vision is for everyone living with a terminal illness in our community to achieve the best quality of life. We are committed to achieving this by enabling them to live in comfort, with independence and dignity to the end of their lives, and to support those closest to them.
Last year the Hospice cared for over 1,700 patients and their families in their own homes or at our Aylesford-based Hospice. Our services cost £5 million a year to run and we depend heavily on our loyal supporters, whose generous donations and fundraising activity account for £3 out of every £4 spent on our services.
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