Martlets has been at the heart of the community for 25 years. As we start work on our new building, we invite you to share your Martlets memories.
Share your Martlets memories
Thank you to the wonderful staff at the Martlet's who made Matty's final journey through the door to the other side so peaceful and tranquil. Thank you for your wonderful care and kindness.
I was involved for several years with the Martlets Hospice by organizing art events, several including my fellow members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours There followed several similar events raising money for the Hospice.
I was honoured to be a Patron of the Hospice from 1998-2017. I have very fond memories of all the staff that helped me organise these events and thank everyone involved with the Martlets for all their good work.
In 2012 my mum spent around 6months here everyone made those last few months amazing. I remember doing a girls night in with all the nurses,they made her evening so special. Everytime I left they reassured me they would make sure she is OK and not alone. All the nurses at this difficult time were so incredible and this year is the 10 year anniversary it would have been amazing to come back to the gardens she loved spending her time however martlets will always have a special place in our family.
Thank you for the care and support you showed our family. Dad’s wish was to be at the Martlets for his final days as he knew the care was second to none. We spent longer there than we expected in October 2021. It helped to have a lovely garden just outside Dad’s room. Having visits from the local cat and a fox was a comfort during a difficult time. We were allowed to have one of us with Dad at all times, which as a relief. The Martlets building and grounds were so peaceful, thank you to everyone
Moira spent 6 weeks as an in-patient at the Martlets Hospice having respite care in Summer 2021. It was delightful to find that the rooms opened out into the beautiful gardens, and that it was possible to sit out whenever the weather was good. As you can see, Moira made good use of this possibility! I will always be grateful for the wonderful care and support that Moira and her family received at the end of her life.
David spent much time at the martlets, being an inpatient for respite and he also attended many day services. He had a loving admiration for staff and volunteers and made himself known to most of you. He enjoyed coming to the martlets meeting staff, volunteers and other clients. We both had such a lovely experience each time we came there and were always welcomed. The martlets had been like a second home to David and I will always be so eternally grateful for all the compassion you gave him.
I’d like to thank the team at Martlets for the support and guidance they gave me while caring for my husband. His journey was short with them, but they made him laugh on home visits. They gave great care and sorted his pain relief drugs within days of their first home visits. His advanced Alzheimer’s and vascular problems took him so so fast. A massive thanks for the nursing team and the bereavement team.
After months of willingly caring for my husband, Ian, at home, I will never forget our final four days together at The Martlets. I could sit with him in his sunlit bedroom while he slept painlessly and peacefully and we both waited for the Gates of Heaven to open for him. The quiet, loving care of the nurses was the greatest comfort to us both as they tirelessly kept him out of pain and comfortable, one sunny morning even wheeling his bed out into the garden beside an apple tree in full blossom.
As Easter Sunday morning dawned, I sat in the garden just out side his room reading the account of Jesus’ Resurrection. Later that day my darling slipped gently through those Gates at last.......
One day I turned up to see my wife at my regular time only to find her room empty, thinking the worst I started to worry but then I heard someone singing outside. There was Jane in her bed in the garden being serenaded by one of your fantastic nurses, it was so heartwarming and beautiful it will stay with me forever. Jane sadly passed in September 2007 but the care and compassion we received at that time was incredible and will never be forgotten.
Thankyou all the staff at the martlets,I could nt have asked for better care of my lovely husband .
I will always be grateful that we could spend our last days together in these very difficult times.
What would we have done without you all
No words can describe how much it meant to us both.
I have sat in the garden every anniversary for the past 12 years (apart from Covid), to be near to my Mum.
I am very sad that her room will no longer be there...
During the saddest weeks of our lives you at Martlets cared for and comforted, often through the night, our dear Poppy during her last weeks, suffering from terminal bowel cancer. The sadness we felt, and its depths, were understood by all the staff at Martlets. The love we felt on each visit to Room 2 will never be forgotten. Thank you. We send every good wish for the refurbishment, in the knowledge you will be there for people in the future as you were for us. Bless you all.
Sadly lost mum back on the 5th May 2014 following a long battle with breast cancer.
She spent her last few weeks under the amazing care of the Martlets. Who not only looked after her they looked after us as a family. Something that we will always be indebted too.
You all looked after her with so much care.
You do a wonderful job under such heart breaking circumstances. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Even led to me chucking myself off a cliff to raise money for you.
I will never forget the care & support we received for both Mum & Dad & us as a family at the end of their lives. Mum was cared for in the hospice & Dad at home no words can express how grateful we all were I would simply give them the world if I had it 💜💙
We have such precious memories from the martlets. We lost my dad there very quickly in 2016. I can’t explain how special the place is to it’s patients and families, they gave my dad the upmost dignity and care at all times. We have visited many times over the years, we love to sit in the sanctuary and reflect about the emotions we went through with dad here and we like to sit in the gardens, so peaceful.
A truly special place.
I was a volunteer “flower lady” for many years during which time the garden was rearranged and we were asked if we could rehouse any of the plants. I took a rose bush which had a great fragrance. It thrived in my garden for at least a decade and it meant a lot to me. My husband was cared for in the Martlets for his last few days. When I moved house it had to come with me. I am really pleased to say it coped well with its second rehoming and a couple of years later is thriving again.
The Martlets played an enormous part in my sister's cancer story, she stayed for respite in 2019 and the care she received was phenomenal. She returned in Oct 2021 and celebrated her 60th birthday there, staff decorated her room and made a cake. In December, just before Christmas she deteriorated and was readmitted for end of life care. She sadly passed away at the beginning of January. She was thankful to be in a place where she felt comfortable being cared for by people she knew.
I spent my sister sally’s last few days with her in Martlets and was very impressed with the care & attention that was given to both of us. It was over Christmas and everyone went well beyond to make it as special as it could be under sad circumstances. A marvellous place.
7 years ago in Martlets my beautiful Nick passed away - the care respect and help that all the staff showed will never be forgotten - an amazing place with amazing team - they helped nick pass with dignity and care and helped me cope I will never forget them x
I was a staff volunteer on the IPU at the hospice during the first lockdown in April 2020 and was so impressed by the selfless dedication and kindness of the nurses and healthcare assistants there. They still managed to bring their special care to every patient even through masks, visors and layers of PPE. Their dedication to the care they provide was truly heart-warming to witness.
I know it has been 8 years since I lost you, still feels like yesterday 💔 😔 missing you so much. You was a gentleman. You died so young and had so much to still do in your life.xx
Mum , she was the one of the first patients at the Martlets all those 25 years ago. I see how much the garden has grown and how beautiful it looks and how it shows the years that have passed and how much Mum has been missed throughout my life so far, marriage, children, divorce but has never been far from my thoughts. She taught me courage and being thankful for the life I have. A dedication to (Peggy) forever 52 💙💙💙
My husband spent two visits in the Martlets, before choosing to be at home and being cared for by the wonderful hospice at home team. We spent a lot of time in the garden and in the peaceful room, collecting our thoughts and sharing memories. It was a sad time, but Olly was so well looked after ❤️ x
When my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, it was her wish to be cared for at The Martlets. She had volunteered in their shops for 18 years mainly in George Street, but also Church & North Street, so it was dear to her heart. She was looked after with care & dignity throughout. I cannot praise the staff enough for all they did for her & us, her family. 💖💖💖
When young I volunteered for a while at Coppercliff. Sadly was unable to manage my emotions.
Roll on 40 years and I decided to help by raising funds. Little did I know that the Martlets would care for my dear dad. Everyone cared as they would their own dad. Visiting daily we felt part of a large caring family and pops felt as comfortable and happy as he could have been, as did we. It feels homely, which is down to the caring staff. Thank you.x
I have lots of special memories late in the evening with the garden lit up with thousands of twinkly lights capturing images and film with our supporters, staff and choir, for our annual Christmas service.
Over the years at the Hospice my mum Frances Fulker, a nurse on the Inpatient unit has put on several shows to raise money for the patients Christmas presents.
Below is a photo from Mamma Mia
I will always remember that warm feeling every time I entered the building. The cafe was always full of people, on their own journeys, the coffee and cake was always flowing and the laughter rang out.
These doctor and nurse dolls used to sit on the counter in the Martlets cafe and always made me smile. I think they were knitted by a supporter or staff member. I hope they make it to the new building.
I will miss the lovely fox (and her cubs) who roamed the gardens and used to sunbathe in the car park!
Ginny, one of Martlets' nurses, has been bringing Bobby the dog into Martlets as pet therapy for patients for some time now. We loved seeing his friendly face on his tours of the Hospice. Here he is relaxing.
Misty was always part of the building as much as any of us as staff. I miss her hugely - but like to think she knew that there would be a time where lots of us weren't working in the building anymore.
The hospice is a weird and wonderful place to work sometimes! Over the last two years working from home I have missed it greatly. This blurry picture is from 2018 when we did the 26 mile walk around the snails with Fatboy Slim. We arrived back very late at night and everyone had stayed to see us back - including a patient from the IPU who'd waited up for us and was greeting us there.
Be part of our moving story
'Coppercliff was the only place where she didn't pester me to take her home'
'It is most extraordinary the way people come forward to help'
'They are more than nurses, they are friends to me'
Prince Charles hosted a well-attended and profitable fundraising reception for us at the Royal Pavilion in 1995 and Martlets opened in 1997, providing far better inpatient accommodation, greatly improved clinical facilities and a larger skilled staff body. The hospice will continue to provide the very best facilities and care within the inpatient unit and through its day services support. As we move forward, I also envisage there being an increase in the clinical care given to patients in their own homes.
KEVIN SMYTH, MARTLETS TRUSTEE, 2009-19
Brighton has a long history of providing charitable care for those affected by terminal illness. In 1935 the Tarner Home was established which, through a generous endowment, provided care to the seriously ill who could not afford private nursing home fees. On a similar basis, Coppercliff (which later became Coppercliff Hospice) came into existence in 1967.
As charities, both organisations were unique in providing their services at a cost affordable to everyone. Over the years, medical conditions became more complex and it was becoming impossible to meet patients’ needs from the restricted facilities of converted houses. In 1994, fundraising began to build a purpose-built hospice to meet the changing needs of the local community.
Ever wondered what the bird in Martlets’ logo represents? A martlet is a mythical heraldic bird which is thought to represent the swift or house martin. Martlets have been traditionally associated with Sussex for centuries and appear on the Sussex county crest. They are typically shown in perpetual flight with open wings and no feet, never stopping to sleep. As part of our logo, the bird represents Martlets’ ethos of round-the-clock care – we are always ready to respond to the needs of our community.
Martlets opened its doors in 1997 and was formed from the merger of three separate charities: Coppercliff Hospice, the Tarner Home and MacMillan Day Hospice.
It’s all about building relationships. You only have to walk through the door at Martlets and you’re greeted with a smile and niceness from absolutely everybody. I don’t think people realise that Martlets offers a lot of services as well as the medical side, and it’s all free to access and makes a real difference. And they don’t just care for you, they care for your whole family and those close to you.