Hospice needs your help in final push for £5.3million expansion - The Evesham Observer

Hospice needs your help in final push for £5.3million expansion

Evesham Editorial 20th Jan, 2018   0

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.


Why Ray backs the Build 2020 appeal

Ray Mace, living with heart failure and Parkinson’s

“When I was told the news about my illness I was particularly miserable and fed up and when somebody suggested coming to St Richard’s I thought, how long have I got then?

“People saw it as a one-way door in and no one going out. I was going into decline, staying at home, finding it difficult even to watch the television anymore. When kind people came round to see me they asked questions about my illness all the time – how long have they given you? Will you go bald? Coming here was an escape from that. I liken the hospice to a rest place for weary travellers

“There’s none of us exempt from dying, we know we’ve all got to face it in some way, and what the hospice has given me, is the strength to realise it’s still worthwhile trying to enjoy life. St Richard’s has also given me time to think, what do I want out of life, what do I want to do and can I do it? One key thing I have gained from St Richard’s is the realisation that life doesn’t end tomorrow.

“Coming to here, talking to people, realising that you’re not alone and that people know what you’re talking about – if St Richard’s can take that to the thousands that are going to need help, it will work even more wonders.”

Jackie Pickford lives with the progressive illness Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA).

Jackie attends a regular hospice out-patient clinic, tai chi sessions, and has complementary therapy to help for condition. She has also had a short stay in the St Richard’s In-patient Unit to improve her symptoms.

“When I’m at St Richard’s I’m treated as a human being, not as someone being processed. I find the tai chi very relaxing and it improves my movement. It’s easy to do and gives me the skills to help manage my own condition. In our group we have people with different conditions, capabilities and needs, sharing a common enjoyment of doing something physical we probably wouldn’t be doing otherwise.

“My reflexology sessions were relaxing and I now have aromatherapy massages to help relieve pain. For me it’s also about the camaraderie, and knowing you are not on your own. It’s a place where it’s normal to have issues but you don’t have to talk about them or feel the need to do so. It’s fun and light-hearted as well as being extremely useful as staff talk to each other so my care is co-ordinated.”

Jackie’s husband, Ian said, “When we told some of our friends that Jackie was having hospice support a number of them said, ‘I didn’t know Jackie was that ill.’ They thought hospices are places to go when nothing else can be done, but that’s not the case. Hospice care for us is about life improvement, not life end. It’s having fun, staying fit, learning skills to help self-manage your condition and enjoying life.”

The couple, who have been together for 30 years, do as much as they can despite Jackie’s illness. They regularly travel and Jackie takes her all-terrain wheelchair all over the world, anywhere where Ian can push. Recent trips have included Russia, France, Germany and previously Myanmar where Jackie and her wheelchair have been transported in a longboat.

“There are many thousands who would really benefit from being supported by the hospice to live and enjoy the life they have.

“Some people need it now, and for those that don’t need it now, you really want to know the care will be there for you, your family and friends in the future. That’s why we are very much in favour of the community getting together to raise funds for Build 2020.”

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