On behalf of all our staff, volunteers and (most importantly) our patients, we would like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has helped to complete the first phase of a new Hospice for Herefordshire and the surrounding counties. Because of you… we can continue to care.
Clive and Sylvia Richards officially opened the brand-new St Michael’s Hospice Inpatient Unit on 31st March 2015. Clive said, ‘St Michael’s is built on the generosity of tens of thousands of people who have supported their Hospice over the last 30 years. I knew that raising the funds for the Redevelopment was going to be a massive challenge and I wanted to encourage people to get behind the project. I also wanted to show people just how inspirational their dedication to St Michael’s Hospice has been for me personally.’
As well as Clive and Sylvia’s generous one million pound donation, we have also had many, many more people donate to the St Michael’s Hospice Redevelopment Appeal. Because of this incredible groundswell of local support, we have been able to welcome the first patients into the new state-of-the-art Inpatient Unit.
Built to the highest engineering standards, every aspect of the highly insulated, timber-framed building has been considered to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of the local community for generations to come.
Debbie Emmett, Health Care Assistant at St Michael’s Hospice, said, ‘When I began working at St Michael’s 15 years ago, the Hospice was much quieter. Today there is a much greater need for all our services, and we are caring for more people in many different ways. Patients can now visit us for symptom control and then return home, and many more patients will soon be able to use our Inreach services, enabling people to live in their own homes for as long as possible.’
One of the key design features of the new building is private bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Debbie believes this feature is vital to help care for people with the dignity they deserve. ‘I can’t emphasise enough the difference the extra space and facilities will make to the quality of people’s lives during their stay at the Hospice.’
The bespoke building has been one of the most challenging and ultimately rewarding projects for Architype, the Herefordshire-based architects who have designed and overseen the build. After listening to Hospice staff, patients, families and friends, Architype designed a building that engages the senses and provides a truly astonishing therapeutic environment. The technology used will reduce running costs, making the building affordable to run. Architect Paul Neep said, ‘St Michael’s Hospice has touched the lives of so many people in Herefordshire; it has been a privilege to help create this beautiful new facility that will enable the Hospice to provide a quiet, comfortable and relaxing environment whilst avoiding clinical uniformity.’
Just as much thought has been given to the external environment. Landscape architects have created streams for rainwater to run through and rills to act as therapeutic water features, offering sound and visual animation to help soothe and calm. Carefully planted flowers, shrubs and hedgerows help to link the building into its location in the stunning Herefordshire countryside.
The second stage of the redevelopment project, the refurbishment of the existing building, has now begun. Opening later this year, the two buildings will become a complete Hospice fit for the 21st century, providing all the space we need to care for and support people living with a life-limiting illness, whether in their own homes or as inpatients.
St Michael’s mission for the future is to continue to revolutionise palliative care and support more local families with a broadened range of services, thus meeting the community’s growing needs.
If you would like to help St Michael’s Hospice raise the remaining £500,000 needed to finish the Redevelopment project, please pop a cheque in the post (made payable to St Michael’s Hospice) and send it to: St Michael’s Hospice, Bartestree, Hereford HR1 4HA