Duke of Devonshire visits new St Wilfrid’s Hospice

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The Duke of Devonshire made a visit to St Wilfrid’s Hospice last week.

The Duke, who is a patron of St Wilfrid’s Hospice, was able to see just how close they are to completing the build at the new hospice site in Broadwater Way.

Keith Ridley from Eastbourne Herald, Kara Bishop CEO, St Wilfrid's Hospice, the Duke of Devonshire, Arnold Simanowitz (Chairman of Trustees) and Charles Grimaldi (Ambassador, St Wilfrid's Hospice) visit the new site.

Keith Ridley from Eastbourne Herald, Kara Bishop CEO, St Wilfrid's Hospice, the Duke of Devonshire, Arnold Simanowitz (Chairman of Trustees) and Charles Grimaldi (Ambassador, St Wilfrid's Hospice) visit the new site.

Kara Bishop, chief executive at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, greeted the Duke of Devonshire at the new premises and treated the hospice patron to an exclusive tour of the extensive grounds.

Ms Bishop said, “We were delighted to welcome our patron to the new hospice.

“It marks the beginning of a very exciting time for St Wilfrid’s and the new facilities will allow us to care for twice as many patients and respond to the growing needs of our community.

“St Wilfrid’s is very lucky to have a patron who takes a genuine interest in our crucial work of providing skilled and compassionate care for those who need our support within the local community.

“We are very proud of the progress being made on site and the future developments we will be able to make as a result of the new building.”

The build is in its final stages with the new beds currently being fitted, patients testing and selecting the furniture and the gardens bursting into life.

The Duke of Devonshire said, “It has been a real pleasure to visit the new hospice this afternoon.

“The care and attention to detail that has gone into the design ensures that the building itself reflects the holistic ethos of the hospice.

“From the french doors that lead onto the beautiful gardens in each of the patient bedrooms to the striking glass panels which incorporate the natural landscapes within the building, the new hospice really is a very peaceful and welcoming space.”

While the new hospice is nearly complete, the charity still needs to raise additional funding to equip ten of the 20 bedrooms.

St Wilfrid’s will be launching a bed appeal later this month in the hope that the local community will support the charity in this final push.

Once finished the new hospice will have 20 private bedrooms which each open out onto a garden area and have en suite facilities as well as therapy rooms, day care facilities, office space and a community coffee shop.

Ms Bishop says the facility is much needed and explained 24 people died in 2010 while waiting for admission to the inpatient unit.

She said, “By 2029 the population numbers aged over 64 are expected to increase by 53 per cent and those over 85 are expected to increase by 77 per cent.”

To help furnish and equip the remaining ten bedrooms in the new hospice visit the St Wilfrid’s website at www.stwhospice.org for more information or to make a donation.