ST WILFRID’S Hospice hopes its new £8 million premises will be able to cater for the ever-growing demand on its services.
Once a new home for a cluster of common lizards is found and preliminary works are completed on the site north of Cross Levels Way, the new 20-bed hospice will begin to take shape in autumn.
Since the beginning of last year 24 people spent their last days at home in bed because the hospice did not have the space for them.
By 2029 the number of people in the area who will be 85 or older will have increased by 77 per cent, according to hospice figures.
Hospice chief executive Kara Bishop said, “In order to meet the desperate need for hospice care in the community we are building a new 20-bed hospice.
“This will mean that we can make an impact on even more lives in the community we serve.
“Over the next five years it is our goal to double the number of patients and their friends and families that benefit from our support.”
It has taken the hospice more than a decade to find its new home after suffering planning setbacks.
But in October last year Eastbourne Borough Council gave new plans the go-ahead and St Wilfrid’s hopes to celebrate its 30th anniversary on November 28, 2013, by opening its doors to patients.
The new hospice will have 20 private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms – double the number at the hospice’s present site in Mill Gap Road – and a training centre for care workers.
The hospice relies heavily on public donations and it is only thanks to generous public funds that St Wilfrid’s has been able to forge ahead with its building plans.
It has already received £350,000 from the Bradbury Foundation and the hospice hopes to double that sum by the end of the year.
These funds will go towards kitting out the new premises.
Ms Bishop added, “We are privileged to have a strong and loyal following in the community that is passionate about supporting our cause.
“ Many of these have been personally touched by the care we have provided to a relative or friend and are keen that others in need benefit the same way their loved ones did.
“Many donate in the knowledge that should they find themselves in a situation one day requiring our support they have helped ensure the hospice remains in existence.
“Whatever the motivation, we truly appreciate the support we receive.”
For more information about St Wilfrid’s Hospice, visit www.stwhospice.org or call 644500.