The fund raising efforts of residents across Peterborough and Stamford has ‘made dreams come true’ at Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall Hospice according to a special royal guest.
The Duchess of Gloucester officially opened the new £6 million hospice at Thorpe Hall today, and she praised staff, volunteers and fundraisers for making the state of the art facility a reality.
She said: “I was sold on the design that so cleverly fitted into the walled garden with an opening from every room into a bit of the garden be it summer or winter or any season but with beautiful planting, and the ability to go out, even in your bed if you so wish.
I think many a dream has come true thanks to the enormously hard work of the fund raising committee and the incredibly generous donations from different firms and trusts and many individuals, some of whom have been immensely generous.”
The Duchess was patron of the Thorpe Hall Capital Appeal raising the money needed to fund the new hospice building. This was her third visit to Thorpe Hall – she launched the appeal in March 2013 and returned a year later to see the progress of the appeal and building work.
At the opening, the Duchess was joined by Jessica Bacon (18), whose dad, Martin, spent his last three weeks of his fight against a brain tumour at the hospice in 2013.
Jessica helped the Duchess cut the ribbon, and afterwards said: “My dad was admitted in 2013. He had a terminal brain tumour.
“The care he received was absolutely incredible, but the staff looked after us so well as well.
“They always looked after the little things, like making us hot chocolate when we were crying at 2am, or giving us counselling.
“We have been helping fund raise since then, and it is incredible to see this completed, as it is what we have been working for.
“It is brilliant that another family like ours will receive the brilliant care we had in a purpose built building.”
Jessica, of Thorpe Road, had met the Duchess at a previous event, and said she had asked her about her university plans, as Jessica is starting at York University soon.
Hospice director Jane Petit said: “To have the duchess here is recognition of the hard work and commitment of the staff, volunteers and donors we have here.
“This is a very significant building for Peterborough. We now have a facility that provides people with incredible care.
“We have 50 per cent more patients than we did at this time last year.
“The new building means we can look after more people and provide their families with a better experience.
“Everyone who has donated, whether it is a coupe of pounds in a tin or a very big donation, has helped, and we would not be able to provide the care we do without their help.”
Anne Edis, who has volunteered at Thorpe Hall for 17 years, said: “This means an awful lot to the people of Peterborough. “The hospice has allowed people to spend the end of their days in comfort and with care.”