St Richard’s Hospice is urging the community to support the charity’s vision of creating a living well centre at the heart of their Worcester base.
The centre will be the focus of stage two of the Build 2020 campaign and will include new rooms for care and social support, ensuring the hospice can help many more people in the future.
St Richard’s Chief Executive, June Patel, said the hospice team was delighted that thanks to generous donations so far, the first stage of the Build 2020 project is expected to be completed by late spring.
She added that parts of the hospice had already been redeveloped or newly built and have opened to patients and families.
“It’s with a huge thanks to everyone who has donated so far that we are now able to welcome patients and their loved ones into lovely, bright and modern rooms to attend the hospice for the day, out-patient clinics and our Living Well activities. We’ve also re-opened our large reception which has been redesigned to create a more welcoming and friendly space.”
New build areas which opened last week include a spacious quiet sitting area for patients and families waiting for appointments or activities and a new education and learning hub.
Managing your illness
Mrs Patel added, “The completed bigger hospice, widespread redevelopment of the current building and a focus on more flexible care and support will mean we can reach more people in ways they want, helping them to learn new ways to manage their illness and increase independence as well as helping them to come to terms with the impact on their lives.”
The new building and redeveloped areas completed so far are already in use to reach more people with the introduction of information and social groups for current patients and carers and those who are not already under the care of the hospice and living with a serious progressive illness.
These include sessions such as Understanding Pain and its Management; Love Books, Making life easier with IT and Knit and Natter.
Fundraising Director Tricia Cavell said, “The Build 2020 project will cost £5.3m, and thanks to wonderfully generous support we now have £776,000 left to raise to fulfill our goal of caring for up to an extra 1,000 individuals a year when they need us most. We know that’s still a huge amount, but are very hopeful that everyone will get behind this final push to reach the target.”
The living well centre
The new centre – which will officially be called the St Richard’s Bradbury Centre thanks to the generous support of the Bradbury Foundation – will allow the charity to more than double the number of day patients.
The living well rooms will all open onto The Green, a light new space where patients, carers, staff and visitors can gather together to eat and drink, meet friends, to sit after a therapeutic session – or just to connect with others who have come to the hospice for support.
The living well centre will include:
Therapy room: a flexible space where therapies like acupuncture, aromatherapy and massage will be offered.
Counselling room: a quiet calm, private space where staff, patients and families can meet to discuss their care; their practical support needs or have emotional support in difficult times.
Exercise studio: here patients can exercise and gain strength, helping them to become physically fitter and improving endurance and balance.
Art studio: a brand-new resource where patients and loved ones will come to use art and creativity to express their feelings.
Training kitchen: our Occupational Therapists can help patients re-learn cooking skills, improving independence and their day to day life at home.
Horticultural room: a place where patients can enjoy the simple benefits of gardening, planting and flower-arranging, skills often lost to someone who is ill.
Music and cinema room: here we’ll provide music therapy for patients, a space for choirs and other performances as well as the space to show new and favourite films.
Hairdressing salon – where trained hairdressing volunteers can enhance a patient’s well being
St Richard’s launched the Build 2020 appeal last year as areas of the hospice were bursting at the seams and they were struggling to respond to the ever-increasing number of patients.
Demand for hospice care is set to rise sharply with an aging population and people living longer with multiple illnesses including neurological and heart, renal and respiratory conditions as well as cancer.
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.
St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones. Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,300 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.
St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations for three quarters of its annual £8.8m income with the remainder from the NHS.
How the living well centre will make a difference to local people like Gwen and Ken Stark from Pershore
Gwen: the hospice has been looking after me for about 5 years now and they’ve been incredible right from the start. We had no idea really what to expect but we found such a wonderful, welcoming place.
I love the hospice because they take all the weight off my shoulders. I’ve attended living well sessions many times now and the doctors and nurses have worked so hard to help me to feel as well as I can. I attended some relaxation sessions and they helped me so much to get over those times when I’ve thought “oh, I just can’t go on.”
I’m very comforted indeed to know that the hospice is there for me anytime I need them. And I know that Ken is going to have the support he needs too when the time comes. That’s so reassuring to know.
I love the idea they’ve had about The Green, because I can really see myself in there, having a cup of tea before seeing the nurse or talking to one of the many friends I’ve made at the hospice. It’s lovely that they’ve got all the therapy rooms opening out into this bright, green space.
I think it’s incredible that the hospice works so hard for people like us – and this new living well centre will be another wonderful part of their wonderful service.
Ken: Well, the hospice has been a godsend for me too. It can be a very lonely life being a carer; but I’ve always had the hospice there for me. Twice I’ve had to call their 24-hour nurse to ask for emergency advice. But I think it’s the little things, the help you don’t expect that has been most surprising. We’ve tried to go away for little hotel breaks since Gwen’s been ill, but recently we’ve found that even the big hotels aren’t suitable for Gwen now her movement is restricted.
I told Gill, the hospice physio about this and she found two hotels that would be suitable – she spend her time talking to the hotel staff to make sure they would be OK for Gwen. Both were just wonderful, but without the hospice helping we’d have been stuck at home.
Both of us have supported the hospice before and we’ll be helping where we can for this new build appeal. We’ll benefit of course but I think what’s important is that people like us in the future get the chance to have the same care.
How to support the Build 2020 appeal:
Donate: Online: Find out more and donate
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.
For more information about St Richard’s Hospice visit www.strichards.org.uk/build2020