16th March 2021

Hospice jubilant as major new build completed

A Worcestershire hospice is celebrating the completion of a £5.2m building project and giving ‘a huge thank you’ to kind-hearted supporters who helped make the vision become a reality.

June Patel and John Bawden in The Green

St Richard’s Hospice embarked on the Build 2020 Appeal to grow hospice care for Worcestershire three years ago and construction work was able to continue throughout the pandemic with COVID-secure measures in place.

St Richard’s Hospice Fundraising Director, Tricia Cavell said, “Although the pandemic has caused financial challenges as fundraising events were cancelled and our shops temporarily closed in lockdowns, we were very fortunate that the money needed to complete the build project was secured and committed before the impact of Covid-19.”

Mrs Cavell added, “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated to our appeal; it was incredible how everyone came together to raise the funds we needed.”

Malvern-based construction company, Speller Metcalfe, completed stage two of the building programme and with John Christophers of Birmingham-based Associated Architects, officially handed back the development to the retiring Chair of Governors, John Bawden and hospice Chief Executive June Patel this week.

Mr Bawden, who steps down from his role at the end of this month after 17 years of dedicated service to the hospice, said he was incredibly proud of the build project and the benefits it would bring to patients and families across Worcestershire.

Mr Bawden said, “I’ve been honoured to work on the Build 2020 project and it’s been a massive team effort with hospice staff, supporters, volunteers and the community coming together to achieve a fantastic result. Now we have a bigger hospice we can better support our current patients and reach the unmet need of thousands of local people in the future, offering the right care and support when they need it most.”

The extended and renovated hospice now includes The Green, pictured, in the central courtyard at the heart of the hospice and which will be a place to meet others, connect, relax, support, sit and eat for patients, families and carers as well as visitors to enjoy. The Green is surrounded by Living Well therapy rooms including an exercise studio, art studio, horticultural therapy room, hair salon, family support rooms as well as an occupational therapy training kitchen and music and film therapy room.

Matt Wood, of Speller Metcalfe, John Bawden, Chair of Governors at St Richard’s, and John Christophers of Associated Architects stand together in The Green

The bigger, multi-purpose spaces will mean St Richard’s can support more patients and their families and offer a wider choice of activities to help people manage their illness, such as sessions to cope with breathlessness and fatigue; exercise-based groups and therapies which can increase confidence and independence; bring relief from symptoms; reduce stress, anxiety and depression as well as improve sleep.

Hospice Chief Executive June Patel said the government’s roadmap to easing lockdown in England offers the hospice team a chance to look ahead and plan how they might safely welcome out-patients, loved ones, volunteers and visitors back to the hospice.

Mrs Patel added, “We are keen to welcome everyone in to see this stunning new building and make use of its fantastic spaces as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

Currently most of the out-patient care and support is provided virtually – over the phone and by video call – and face-to-face where essential to ensure the hospice team is there for those who need them most.

Fundraising events continue to run virtually with plans being made to hold face-to-face fundraising events again later in the year. St Richard’s Hospice shops in the county are planning to reopen from Monday, 12th April.

Fundraising Director Tricia Cavell said, “The challenge now is to continue to raise funds to run all our much-needed services, and we’re hopeful that with the ongoing support of our community we will do just that.”

Matthew Bailey, Small Works Manager at Speller Metcalfe, said: “Having worked on a series of projects for the hospice over the years and with our own personal connections to patients and staff, this has been a significant project for Speller Metcalfe. It has been an absolute pleasure to have had a hand in a build that will prove invaluable for the hospice in the years ahead.”