Overgate Hospice’s sadness at loss of President Sylvia

Sylvia in front of the Hospice building
Sylvia in front of the Hospice building

Staff and volunteers at Overgate Hospice are mourning the loss of Sylvia Graucob MBE, who passed away peacefully at her home in Jersey last week.

The Hospice was founded in 1981 after Sylvia donated what had previously been her family home; ‘Overgate’. Appointed as President, Sylvia provided a great amount of support, particularly in the formative years of the organisation, and this support continued throughout her life.

Val Steele, Chair of the Board at Overgate Hospice, said: “Sylvia Graucob was instrumental in the establishment of Overgate Hospice in 1981 when she donated her former family house to the charity, which enabled patients and their families to benefit from specialist palliative care. Without her generous gift, the start of the Hospice would have been delayed by several years as funds were raised to buy or build a hospice within Calderdale. One of the many attributes of Overgate is the garden which Sylvia wanted patients, relatives and staff to enjoy; the garden and beautiful views from it have brought comfort to many people and will continue to do so into the future.

Sylvia continued to be a staunch supporter of Overgate throughout the years, even though she moved to Jersey. She often brought gifts for staff and arrived with Christmas decorations for the patient areas on many occasions. She attended the Overgate Hospice Choir’s Carol Concert each year and her absence will be particularly poignant next month.

Sylvia’s involvement, interest and wisdom will be sadly missed. The Hospice and people of Calderdale are indebted to her - because she cared, we can.”

Janet Cawtheray, Chief Executive at Overgate Hospice, said: “We are deeply saddened by the news that Sylvia Graucob has passed away. We will particularly miss her visits to the Hospice, her last being in June of this year. Sylvia visited last Christmas and brought each individual member of staff a gift of chocolates; a typical sign of her kindness and generosity. She was an extremely thoughtful and charitable woman, without whom the Hospice simply would not be here, and she will be sorely missed by us all.”

Many current and previous staff members and volunteers from Overgate Hospice will be attending a memorial service for Sylvia at All Saints Church in Elland on Thursday 30 November at 1.30pm.