ONE of Dorset’s leading charities celebrated 30 years of caring for the community.

Dozens of workers, volunteers and supporters attended a Service of Thanksgiving for the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust at St Mary’s Church, in Edward Road, Dorchester.

Bishop of Salisbury the Right Rev Nicholas Holtam thanked the staff and volunteers for their hard work yesterday – the 20th anniversary of the opening of Joseph Weld Hospice.

He said: “The hospice and its community services help us to enjoy our lives to the end.

“Through the experience of the hospice trust and all its associated work, we have learned something about life in all its forms.”

He added: “Just about everybody in Dorset will say how grateful they are for the care the hospice has given to relatives, neighbours or friends.”

Chaplain of Weldmar Sally Bedborough said ‘Blue Monday’ – thought to be the most depressing day of the year – was the perfect day to celebrate the hospice’s anniversary because the love and kindness shown by those who work at Weldmar is ‘a vibrant relief’.

Readings were given by volunteers Audrey Litson and Lyndon Webb and sister at the hospice Julie Nash.

The chapel choir of Thomas Hardye School sang hymns.

Following the service the Bishop of Salisbury made a private visit to the hospice to meet patients and staff.

Weldmar Hospicecare Trust is the result of three Dorset charities merging together to become the only organisation to provide end of life, hospice and palliative care in north, south and west Dorset.