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History

How it all began …

November /December 1999
The foundation of a Hospice Society for the organisation of the Children’s Hospice is agreed. The realisation of the idea of starting a children’s hospice in Hamburg initiated by Ute Nerge starts to take a concrete form.

1st of December 1999
Meeting of the Hospice Society takes place. Members of the foundation are: Ute Nerge, Peer Gent, Christine Oelkers, Reinhold Pohl, Uwe Sanneck, Dr. Hamila Schulz, Dorit Splitter.
Amongst its aim the association prescribes the following: support of development through donations and sponsoring; professional consulting; support of public relations: coordination of professional support from other organisations involved in childcare.
The initial Board of Directors includes: Ute Nerge, Peer Gent, Christine Oelkers, Reinhild Pohl, Uwe Sanneck. Annegrethe Stoltenberg (pastor and head of Hamburg Diaconal Works) and Isabella Vértes-Schütter (Managing Director of the Ernst-Deutsch Theatre Hamburg).

January to November 2000
Time is used to form a lobby to establish the children’s hospice and to conceptualise our ideas.

November 2000
The first major publicity regarding the establishment of Sternenbrücke is published in the local Hamburg newspaper – “Abendblatt”.

1st of December 2000
Space is rented in Rödingsmarkt.

January 2001
The first information workshop for volunteers takes place in Rödingsmarkt. This meeting ends in a lot of work for our members who distribute press kits and flyers.

18th of May 2001
Rental contract for the property in Sandmoorweg 62 in Hamburg Rissen is completed.

July 2001
First issue of “Sternenbrücke Now” is published.

7th of September 2001
Approval given for the foundation of the Sternenbrücke Children’s Hospice charitable foundation and sponsoring association, the two pillars for the development of Children’s Hospice Sternenbrücke.
Through this they are linked together by the articles of association so that a member of the board of the sponsoring association must also be on the board of the charitable trust.
Members of the board of trustees of the charitable trust are: Dr. Ekkehard Nümann, Prof. Wulf-Volker Lindner, Peter Möhrle, Dagmar Reim.
The board of directors of the charitable trust consists of: Annegrete Stoltenberg, Isabella Vertes-Schütter, Ute Nerge.

20th of September 2001
The sponsoring association invites the people of Rissen to an “Open day” in Sandmoorweg. Approximately 100 visitors use the opportunity to gather information.

30th of September 2001
Around 60 members gather at Sandmoorweg for a members’ meeting. Uwe Sanneck resigns from the board. After the meeting interested parties have the opportunity to look around the premises.

27th of October 2001
The administration moves into Sandmoorweg.

9th of October 2001
Heidi Kabel visits the premises and draws a lot of interest from the press.

9th of December 2001
An advent market once again draws a lot of interested people to the Sandmoorweg property.

18th of December 2001
The Children’s Hospice Sternenbrücke is awarded a prize of DM 5.000, by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. This award is one of six awarded in a nationwide competition for “start social”.

3rd of April 2002
The German Minister for Health, Ulla Schmidt, visits Sandmoorweg with the commitment to support the property’s conversion to the tune of € 1.64 in federal funds.

3rd of May 2002
Around 80 members attend the third members’ meeting. Voted to the board are: Ute Nerge (Director), Peer Gent, Annette Kramp.
By the middle of August the planning phase for conversion is finished. The conversion is extensive and is to take place in two phases. Some rooms, e.g. the library, remain the same; others are to be completely converted.

24th of August 2002
A big summer festival takes place at the Sandmoorweg premises with between 5-6.000 visitors. Many volunteers and employees help to create a great atmosphere around where information is exchanged, conversations held and there is a lot of fun and games. A musical programme with well known artists round up what in the whole, is a great day.

21st of September 2002
The foundation of the German Association of Children’s Hospices e.V in which the charitable trust, Children’s Hospice Sternenbrücke is also represented.

September 2002
The administration moves into an office container in the parking space. Demolition building work begins on all floors. Several “surprises” are experienced ...

November 2002
Structural work for the therapeutic pool begins.

January / February 2003
The first volunteer training takes place in the parish hall (community centre).

25th of April 2003
The “topping out” ceremony for the therapeutic pool is celebrated.

April 2003
The administration moves back into the newly renovated premises.

17th of May 2003
Opening of Children’s Hospice Sternenbrücke with great support from the volunteer members of the sponsoring association and the hospice’s employees.
In the morning the official opening with 450 invited guests takes place and in the afternoon an “open day” offers visitors the opportunity to find out about the facilities. About 5.000 people attend the opening.

June 2003
The first children are admitted to the hospice.

Summer 2003
Many families enjoy a wonderfully warm summer at Sandmoorweg. A team from NDR TV makes a documentary about the hospice, which is shown on 4 November 2003 and creates a lot of response.

November 2003
After difficult negotiations Sternenbrücke charitable trust can buy the property at Sandmoorweg and thereby secure government funding for reconstruction.

6th of December 2003
The sponsoring association’s members meeting takes place at Raalandsweg parish hall (community centre).

January to November 2004
Four training courses with various topics take place for volunteers and employees. First impressions of work in the children’s hospice are given.

18th of February 2004
Dagmar Reim resigns from the board of trustees. For professional reasons she leaves Hamburg. Prof. Dr. Michael Schulte-Markwort is called to the board and accepts the position.

1st of May 2004
“Open Day” – This is to take place annually on 1st of May to give all those interested an insight into the work at Sternenbrücke.

20th of October 2004
The sponsoring association members’ meeting votes for an extended board with five new members.
Board: Ute Nerge (Management), Claudia Brumm, Peer Gent, Dr. Raymund Pothmann, Uwe Sanneck.

22nd of October 2004
Inauguration of the therapeutic pool.

July / August 2005
New volunteers are trained in “guidelines to diaconal hospice work” in a 60 hours session.

27th of September 2005
Annegrethe Stoltenberg resigns from her board position at the charitable trust to work on the Board of Trustees. The board nominates Peer Gent as new board member.

29th of September 2005
“Day of the Angels” takes place for the first time under the patronage of actor Thomas Heinze. With the motto “be an angel – earn your wings” this event is to take place on the same day annually, to support Sternenbrücke.

30th of September 2005
“Garden of remembrance” is opened on the grounds of the children’s hospice, with families and sponsors in attendance. Here the families find a place for mourning and remembrance.
Once a year all families who have lost a child at Sternenbrücke, are invited to a joint remembrance day. This takes place for the first time on 3rd of September 2006.

23rd of October 2005
The beginning of the first further training course for paediatricians, children’s nurses, caretakers and psychosocial professionals, takes place. The course content is “palliative care for children and youths” and the curriculum was developed together with the Datteln clinic.
This course, recognised by the Hamburg Medical Association, is completed over a period of 1 ½ years and consists of 200 training hours, spread over four weeks.
The second course took place in March 2006 with 18 attendees and the third is planned for April 2007.

31st of October 2005
The sponsoring association members’ meeting approved comprehensive changes to the articles of association.

26th of January 2006
Heidi Ziegfeld is appointed to the Board of Trustees and accepts the position.

1st of May 2006
Opening of the stone factory and “Open Day”.

16th of August 2006 Attendance of the first mayor Ole von Beust.

Autumn 2006 Restorations of the roof and und extensions of the house are done (nurses’ room and administration).

December 2006 Movie screening in the cinema Streit´s: report "On the way to the angels" of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk.

19th of May 2008 The 5th birthday of Sternenbrücke is celebrated with an atmospherically reception in the planetarium.

Autumn 2008 Commencement of the area for young adults.

10th of October 2008 In the context of Hamburgs’ hospice week the Hospice Society invites to a well attended panel discussion with the author Roland Kachler, Ute Nerge and Annegrete Stoltenberg.

28th of March 2009 First Gala dinner in the Maritim-Hotel by invitation of long lasting

1st of May 2009 About 2.800 guests attend the traditional “Open Day” .

7th of August 2009 We celebrate the roofing-ceremony of the area for young adults.

25th of Februar 2010 Ute Nerge is awarded the "Goldene BILD der FRAU" in Berlin.

16th of April 2010 Opening of the area for young adults up to the age of 27 years old.

20th of January 2011 Opening of the Children’s Hospice Academy Sternenbrücke.

29th of July 2011 Opening of the Outpatient Children’s Hospice Care Services Sternenbrücke.

Development of the membership of the Hospice Society

January 2000 12 members
July 2001 200 members
October 2004 720 members
January 2006 810 members
October 2008 1.200 members
September 2009 1.335 members
May 2010 1.404 members
November 2010 1.413 members
September 2011 1.440 members
April 2012 1.455 members

Since our opening nine years ago, we took care about 500 families at the Children’s Hospice Sternenbrücke. In this time 138 children have passed on.


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