CARING residents have been urged to dig deep and help St Richard’s Hospice raise the final £1.4million urgently needed to build a bigger hospice to care for more patients and families.
Patients, volunteers and staff cheered as hospice chiefs 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.
Hospice chiefs hope the Build 2020 appeal will see the charity’s supporters go the extra mile once again to help them meet their target.
The redeveloped and extended building will include a re-configured reception area; larger rooms suitable for exercise groups, a occupational therapy kitchen; more rooms for counselling; complementary therapy, music, horticultural and art therapy plus a spacious social and eating area.
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 currently supports more than 3,000 people a year and charity chiefs anticipate the bigger hospice will enable the hospice team to care and support up to 4,000 individuals by 2021/22.
Chief Executive June Patel said: “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 ageing population and people living longer with multiple illnesses such as heart failure, Parkinson’s, and motor neurone disease as well as cancer.
“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.”
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.
Fund-raising 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.”