WEARSIDERS are being urged to dig deep to kit out Sunderland’s first purpose-built hospice for adults.
St Benedict’s Hospice charity is launching a fund-raising drive after pledging £2 million to support an NHS-funded project which will see Sunderland’s first purpose-built adult hospice open in 2013.
As revealed in the Echo, there are plans to relocate the current hospice, which is based at Monkwearmouth Hospital, to a new £12.3million building which will be built next to Cherry Knowle Hospital and the proposed new mental health hospital which will be built on the former Ryhope General Hospital site.
The hospice is set to include 14 inpatient beds and will provide provision for 16 patients in its day-care facility.
There will also be a multi-faith room and plans to provide better facilities for relatives staying overnight.
There will also be a top regional educational facility which will provide training to specialist and general staff.
While the NHS has pledged to pay the £12.3million building costs, the charity must furnish the building and pay for the services to ensure patients receive the best care possible in their final days.
Sylvia Stoneham, St Benedict’s Hospice fund-raiser, said: “This is an exciting time for the charity and a fantastic opportunity for the people of Wearside to have their first purpose-built hospice.
“We hope people will get behind our fund-raising efforts and support us so we can make sure that every patient has the opportunity to live their lives to the full in what will be the sumptuous and unique surroundings of the new St Benedict’s.
“This can be done in a number of ways: by making a donation, taking part in one of our events or simply buying Christmas cards.”
St Benedict’s Hospice charity currently funds the complementary therapies service, which costs £32,000 a year.
In the past, it has also paid for the palliative home care service at a cost of £400,000.
Donations can be sent to The Fund-raising Office, St Benedict’s Hospice, Newcastle Road, Sunderland, SR5 1NB or phone 569 9194 for more details.