A dream of a group visionaries had come to fruition 10 years previously when St Mary’s Hospice opened to care for patients suffering from terminal illnesses, reported The Mail in 1999.

Since then, the Ulverston-based hospice serving Furness and South Lakeland had provided a crucial addition to the region’s nursing services.

St Mary’s Hospice opened to the public in June 1989, the culmination of many years of fund raising by local supporters.

Thanks to the generosity of people in Furness and south Cumbria the group managed to buy a spacious Victorian mansion called Lyndene, in Ford Park Crescent, Ulverston.

They purchased it in the autumn of the previous year and, after more than six months of building and conversion work, all was ready for the hospice to admit its first patients.

Initially there was only a small unit for patients on the first floor of the original old house, but later services were extended to include out-reach services to patients in the community, while a day care unit was also started.

The hospice was officially opened by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1991.

In October 1995 the hospice opened a £1 million extension which provided a new in-patient unit of ten bedrooms.

During its first decade St Mary’s Hospice had cared for 10,000 patients, including in-patients and people living in the community looked after by two hospice Macmillan nurses.

Looking back on the previous decade, bursar Carol Campbell said the hospice had definitely served its purpose: "The main ethos of the hospice is to provide a quality of life for patients, and their families, whose illnesses are largely incurable. Without a doubt St Mary's Hospice has achieved that."

Fund-raising was always an important issue for St Mary's Hospice which, the report stated, cost around £750,000 a year to run.

Each year the hospice received about £500,000 in support from the local community.

Around half that figure came through small donations and the rest mainly from bequests, local trusts and businesses, while an additional £100,000 came annually from the hospice lottery.