St Catherine’s Hospice celebrates groundbreaking for new community palliative care centre
St Catherine’s Hospice has celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony for their new community palliative care centre and café within the hospice grounds.
Hospice staff and volunteers joined with representatives from Eric Wright Group – who are in charge of the construction – and architect Alistair Baines, from Cassidy and Ashton, for the event which saw St Catherine’s Hospice Medical Director Alison Parr cut the first sod to officially mark the start of construction.
Earlier this year the Lostock Hall charity won £520,812 from the Department of Health to convert a disused barn within its grounds into an informal information and therapy centre and café, to be known as Old Lostock Mill Farm, which can be used by the whole community.
The money was awarded according to the specific criteria of the Capital Grant Scheme and could only be used on the project outlined in the application. St Catherine’s Hospice is also investing in the venture, which meets their aim of ‘opening up’ the hospice and its beautiful grounds to the local community.
As well as serving those affected by serious illnesses on an informal basis through ‘drop-in’ therapy and information services and social activities, the welcoming café will be open to everyone from across the area to enjoy. It is hoped this will attract new supporters to help sustain the vital work of the charity.
Stephen Greenhalgh, Chief Executive, said: “We are very excited about this project and its potential for ‘helping people to help themselves’.
“By creating a relaxed atmosphere in a desirable location, the centre will help people become more aware of the help available when coping with serious illness, and more able to get the best out of life. There are also many myths surrounding hospices which create anxiety – we hope the centre will help to dispel these. The café will ‘open up’ St Catherine’s to local people in ways that have never been possible before – building on its roots as a charity started by local people, for local people.
“I must also stress the grant award can only be used for the construction work. Donations and support for St Catherine’s remain vital, as we work to help and support more people in the community. With fundraising being extremely difficult at this time, this venture is also about attracting new supporters to help St Catherine’s continue its work in this harsh economic environment.”
Alison Parr, Medical Director, added: “The centre will be a fantastic new resource for local people that will help patients and their families to cope with and manage the problems caused by progressive illness.
“It will also provide them with an informal but supportive environment where they can maintain a connection with the hospice, whether or not they require active specialist input.”
Eric Wright Special Projects, a division of the Eric Wright Group, are undertaking the construction works on the project including demolitions, a new roof and windows, a new internal steel frame, lift and M&E works. The project will also involve installing block walls, partitions, suspended ceilings, plastering, decoration, kitchen fit-out and vinyl and carpet floor finishes.
Mark Smith, Construction Manager of Eric Wright Special Projects, said: “We are pleased to have been awarded this contract by St Catherine’s Hospice, and hope it will assist them in continuing the excellent work they do within the community.”
Cassidy and Ashton architects have devised the plans for the new centre – due for completion in autumn 2014 – which along with the café includes therapy rooms, shop, craft room and information hub.
Architect Alistair Baines said: “We are delighted to be involved as architects for this worthy project and are confident the finished design will reflect the real needs of the local community.
“It gives us great satisfaction to be given the opportunity to bring back to life an old redundant farm building to provide a modern facility which I know will become a very popular destination in the local area.”
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