WORK on the brand new St Wilfrid’s Hospice building began in earnest this week – with a giant crane being moved into place on the site.
The 24-metre high contraption arrived on Broadwater Way earlier this week and already stands out above the surrounding skyline, which takes in nearby Cross Levels Way.
A construction team is now working round the clock to finish the building, which will provide a state-of-the-art home to not only 20 private bedrooms but a stack of office space, day centre facilities and a number of community rooms.
Particular care is also being taken on an internal courtyard, complete with landscaped garden which, when finished, will offer a tranquil area for residents to relax in.
And as our exclusive artist’s impressions show, the new hospice will be completely different to the well-used but far-from-ideal building the service is housed in at the moment.
Once St Wilfrid’s moves into the new centre, it will double its capacity compared to its current Mill Gap Road building and will also allow volunteers and staff to provide physiotherapy, a gym and better equipped treatment rooms.
Work at the site is on schedule and the keys are due to be handed over at the tail end of this year, with the official opening planned for November 28 – the 30th anniversary of St Wilfrid’s in Eastbourne.
While a fundraising drive is continuing in order to fully finance the work and allow the hospice to continue offering its end of life care into the long-term, the charity’s chief executive is delighted with how things are coming along.
Chief executive Kara Bishop told the Herald, “It’s amazing to see the structure starting to take shape now, after so many years in the planning. The new hospice will allow us to meet some of the growing demand for hospice care in our area and forms part of our vision to transform end of life care for every person in our community.”
Later this year the Herald is teaming up with the hospice to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at exactly what goes on at the charity and to meet some of the inspiring people who make up the residents and volunteers at the hospice.