St Richard’s Hospice has launched an appeal to the community to help raise the final £1.4m urgently needed to build a bigger hospice to care for more patients and families in Worcestershire.

Patients, volunteers and staff cheered as they dug the first turf at the hospice site in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, to mark the start of the building work.

The £5.3m expansion and redevelopment plans have already got off to a flying start with the golden windfall of a £2m gift in a Will from a Worcestershire supporter and pledges from Trusts and grant making foundations.

Chief Executive June Patel explained, “Currently areas of our hospice building in Worcester are bursting at the seams and we are struggling to respond to the ever-increasing number of patients. We will have to expand and adapt our current space and services so we can better support our current patients and reach the unmet need of thousands of local people in the future. Demand for our care is set to rise sharply with our aging population and people living longer with multiple illnesses such as heart failure, Parkinson’s, and motor neurone disease as well as cancer.”

She added, “Our vision is for a bigger hospice where we will be able to support people from the point they are diagnosed, improving their quality of life and offering support to their loved ones.

“The bigger hospice, widespread redevelopment of the current building and a focus on more flexible, seven day a week care and support will mean we can reach more people in ways they want, helping them to learn new skills and strategies to manage their illness and increase independence as well as helping them to come to terms with the impact on their lives.”

The redeveloped and extended building will include:

• larger rooms suitable for exercise based groups, for example adapted Tai Chi and yoga;
• specialist exercise studio with programmes designed by physiotherapists
• A kitchen where occupational therapists will help patients learn how to improve day to day living at home to encourage independence
• Counselling rooms for supporting more patients and loved ones
• Open art studio for patients and loved ones to express feelings through creativity
• Music and horticultural therapy rooms where patients and families can benefit from the therapeutic impact on their health and well being
• complementary therapy rooms for treatments including reflexology and aromatherapy massage
• a spacious social and eating area will be at the heart of the hospice building offering a comfortable space for patients, families, groups and volunteers to meet and support each other.

 

The reception area will be re-configured to be offer a light space where visitors will be greeted with a warm and understanding personal welcome.

St Richard’s plans to use the bigger spaces to offer a wider choice of activities to help people manage their illnesses such as sessions to cope with breathlessness and fatigue; exercise-based groups and creative and music therapies which can increase confidence and independence; bring relief from symptoms; reduce stress, anxiety and depression as well as improve sleep.

St Richard’s currently supports more than 3,000 people a year. They anticipate the bigger hospice will enable the hospice team to care and support up to 4,000 individuals by 2021/22.

All the new and expanded services will run alongside St Richard’s current wide range of patient and family care including support in people’s own homes and 17 in-patient beds.

Hospice Fundraising Director Tricia Cavell said, “We’re appealing to the public to help us raise the final £1.4m to fund this expansion. We rely on the generosity of the Worcestershire community and have done through the whole history of St Richard’s. We really appreciate the fact that our community has helped us at every stage of our hospice development.

“At the moment we have supporters who do lots of amazing things for St Richard’s, for example from holding a coffee morning or jumping out of a plane. And for the Build 2020 appeal we’re asking people to do that one more thing to help us again so that together we can build this wonderful bigger St Richard’s Hospice.”

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their loved ones. The hospice strives to provide the best medical, practical, emotional and social support they can to help people live life to the fullest, as independently as they can, for as long as they can.

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations for three quarters of its annual £8.4m income with the remainder from the NHS.

How to support the Build 2020 appeal:

Donate online

By post, fill in the donation form and send to St Richard’s Hospice Build 2020 appeal, Fundraising Dept, Wildwood Drive, Worcester WR5 2QT. ( please make cheques payable to St Richard’s Hospice.

Or donate by telephoning the fundraising team on 01905 763963.

Alternatively, if you would like to hold your own fundraising event to support Build 2020, please contact the Fundraising Team who will be happy to help with advice and tips.