Building Winchester Hospice has moved a big step closer thanks to major grants from Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council.
The Winchester Hospice Fundraising Charity has been awarded grants of £700,000 from Hampshire County Council and £50,000 from Winchester City Council.
The grants will help fund the conversion of Burrell House, which is on the site of Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, into a much-needed 10-bed hospice and palliative care hub, providing specialist care for patients.
Nick Vaughan, chair of the fundraising charity’s board of trustees, said: “This is fantastic news and we are so grateful to the local authorities for their support.
“We have now reached an important financial milestone, having recently also received planning consent on the design of the conversion. Having raised £2.2million, we can now go out to tender, and although we still have a way to go to reach our fundraising target of £3 million, this is a really exciting time for Winchester Hospice as we are closer than ever to our goal of supporting local residents and their families.
“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has fundraised and supported us so far, and ask that the local community continue to get behind the appeal so that we can make Winchester Hospice a reality as soon as possible. Each kind donation will make a lasting difference for years to come.”
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry said: “The County Council’s association with the Winchester Hospice project goes back to April last year, when we were pleased to be able to make a grant award of £250,000 towards the cost of this important development. While significant progress has been made in reaching the target goal of £3million, the project requires additional immediate support in order to be able to move to the next stage.
“Hospices play such a vital role in communities, and with rapidly rising demand for this type of care and the wider benefits to Hampshire and its residents, the need for a hospice in Winchester is more pressing than ever. For this reason, I am delighted that we are able to offer an additional £450,000, meaning in total £700,000 from the County Council towards the project, complementing recent funding awards made to Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington and Rowans Hospice in Havant. This will see a building of historic interest turned into a state of the art hospice on the Royal Hampshire County Hospital site.”
Councillor Caroline Horrill, Leader of Winchester City Council, added: “We are delighted to be able to pledge £50,000 to support the building of the Winchester Hospice, a donation which has helped the project move to the next stage of delivery.
“We know that the hospice will be provide important resource for our residents and their families during the most difficult of times.”
Winchester Hospice will be run and staffed by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester as well as Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Andover War Memorial Hospital. This follows the successful model used at the Countess of Brecknock Hospice in Andover and ensures that patients are receiving consistent, outstanding care.
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, said: “It’s incredibly exciting that we are one step closer to opening the doors of Winchester Hospice, and that’s thanks to the huge amount of support we have received from the community so far, as well as our colleagues at Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council.
“Our staff and patients have experienced first-hand the difference hospice care can have, and we know the positive difference Winchester Hospice will make in the local community, providing outstanding care and support to patients and their families at what is a very difficult time.”
Planning permission was recently secured to convert Burrell House into Winchester Hospice, but a total of £3million is needed to complete the project and begin caring for patients.
As well as providing inpatient care, Winchester Hospice will provide a hub for specialist palliative care in the community through outpatient services, therapies and caring for people in their own homes.
With no hospice currently located in the city of Winchester, patients with life limiting illnesses and their families can often spend a considerable amount of time travelling back and forth from their homes to receive care or visit a loved one.
For more information about Winchester Hospice and how to get involved, visit winchesterhospice.com.