St. Margaret of Scotland Hospice was previously known as St. Margaret’s Hospice, which it was named when it opened in 1950. As Queen of Scotland, Margaret’s great influence was in the care of the poor and charity. She founded several churches including the Abbey of Dunfermline. She was a famous philanthropist who was raised to Saintly status in recognition of her charitable work.
Over 65 years ago, a Sister of Charity – who had fairly recently come to Clydebank to help with the work of the Parish and school – was approached by a gentleman with advanced throat cancer who told her that he had nowhere to go. He did not know what to do, as he felt he was growing steadily worse and had no-one to care for him. As a result of this, the Sister contacted her base in Dublin to ask if it might be possible for them to send over a Sister trained in nursing who would look after this man and others like him – and thus began the Hospice.
All the houses in the local Congregation made a real effort to find money to send to Clydebank. With help from the local Churches and the local community, sufficient money was raised to buy a house in Millbrae Crescent (just a couple of hundred yards from where the Hospice now stands), plus equipment and other things necessary to establish a small Hospice. The gentleman who approached the Sister was the first patient admitted. The first house was quickly outgrown, as a result of the increasing demand, and the house next door was bought and taken into use. But again, in a very short time, it was obvious that something further would need to be done if the needs of the sick were to be met. As a result of this, the Sisters decided that a purpose-built Hospice would be the only answer.
The first turf of the new Hospice was cut on the 19th July 1969 and on the 29th September 1971 the new Hospice was opened to accommodate 60 patients. In 1989, an Appeal Fund was launched for the re-development and upgrading of the Hospice, and, on the 22nd September 1993 the second floor was opened, as well as a new Day Care Centre. The 20th October 1998 marked the opening of the new state-of-the-art Education Centre and two years later, a new Hydrotherapy Pool was opened.