Fight for hospice dream is far from over

In front of the hospice are (from left) volunteer Pat Myall, events coordinator Paul Stephenson, publicity officer Jane Parsons, administrator Carol Davis and company secretary Sue Wray. Photo MBSP-111011020
In front of the hospice are (from left) volunteer Pat Myall, events coordinator Paul Stephenson, publicity officer Jane Parsons, administrator Carol Davis and company secretary Sue Wray. Photo MBSP-111011020
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YOU’VE jumped out of planes, walked over hot coals and run marathons. Now charity workers behind a bed hospice are urging everyone to keep up their “amazing” support.

For the last ten years, The Butterfly Hospice Trust has been working towards a dream of opening a bed hospice for those living in the south of Lincolnshire.

Earlier this year, with some £1.5million in the coffers, building of the first phase was completed.

But the hard work is far from over for the team, who say any shortfall in funds will now mean much more than a delay in building work.

The charity is currently waiting to find out if it has secured bed funding from a new GP-led commissioning group, which could cover anything from 30 to 70 per cent of costs.

Jane Parsons, corporate, grants and publicity officer for the charity, said: “At the moment, we are waiting. We always knew that we would need the NHS palliative care budget for beds. Our delay is because of changes to the NHS.

“We have already submitted our application and we hope to know something in a couple of weeks.

“If we get that funding it does not mean we, and the community, can stop fundraising. It’s not about building any more, it’s about getting the hospice up and running.”

Approximately £900,000 will be needed each year to run the bed service and the hospice’s support services.

In South Holland, support for the trust has continued to grow. The charity’s shop in Station Street, Spalding, has contributed £176,000 since it opened in April 2009, while events such as concerts and coffee mornings have kept funds pouring in.

One of the areas biggest supporters is Bakkavor, whose staff have raised a staggering £18,615 to date.

Spalding’s M&S Simply Food has also pledged its support by making the Butterfly Hospice Trust its charity of the year.

The hospice itself, which is behind Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital on Rowan Way, is almost ready for patients.

It aims to provide in-patient care beds for those over 18 with a life limiting illness.

For the majority the hospice will enable symptom control and other support, after which the patient will be able to return home.

There are five light, airy bedrooms, which will open out onto private patio areas large enough to accommodate the beds.

There’s a hydrotherapy bath, homely living room and a dining room.

There’s also a large kitchen, which has already been equipped thanks to staff at one of the county’s Sainsbury’s stores.

It is hoped a hospice manager will be in place before Christmas and a “one stop shop” of support services for both patients and their families will also be almost ready to launch.

Almost all of the vital equipment needed has been bought and the final homely touches are being made.

A mural has been painted in the entrance by Bev Wells, from Spalding, and an array of colourful butterfly paintings line the corridor thanks to Spalding’s Friday Art Group.

Jane said: “If it were not for the public and members of the local community we would not be here today.”

Paul Stephenson, events co-ordinator for the charity, says that continued support will be key to making the hospice a success.

Jane added: “The whole point is to make this a flawless service and to make the quality of life as good as possible for the people and their families.”

Eventually, the hospice hopes to expand into a second and third phase.

l To find out more about the charity, visit the website www.butterflyhospice.com or call 01205 311222.