Building for the future

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A QUARTER of a century ago Kirkwood Hospice opened its doors at Dalton, Huddersfield, to provide specialist care for the people of Kirklees.

Now the hospice is providing care at a temporary home in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, whilst the building is being completely gutted, rebuilt, extended and refurbished.

This massive upgrade will cost a whopping £3million, cash which has to be found on top of the annual running costs of £4.5million.

But once it’s done, the hospice will have the modern care and facilities it needs to help the thousands with life-threatening illnesses and provide support for their friends and families into the future.

Garry Wilkinson, fundraising manager at Kirkwood, Albany Road, said: “Hospice care has developed a great deal since Kirkwood opened in March 1987, as have the expectations of our patients and their families.

“We realised several years ago that the building was limiting how we were able to deliver care and that the only way we could continue to progress as a hospice was if we radically redesigned the in-patient unit. We met patients, relatives, supporters and staff and volunteers and listened to their ideas and we think that the finished result includes the best of all of their ideas.”

The 16-bed hospice currently has four single rooms and 12 beds on shared wards.

From next summer the hospice should be able to provide nine single, en-suite rooms and seven on shared wards. There will also be more provision for partners, friends and family members to stay comfortably overnight. The rooms lead onto patio areas which look out onto the south-facing gardens, which will be relandscaped.

The hospice only receives 10 per cent of its funding from the NHS purse, so Kirkwood already needs to raise £3.7m just to keep running. The £3m for the building project needs to be raised on top of this.

Former Chief Executive Officer of Kirklees Council, Rob Vincent, is chairman of the appeal committee which has taken on the massive challenge. About a third of the money has been raised through donations and trusts and contributions.

The appeal committee hopes to reach the £2m mark by Christmas.

One way people can help is by becoming a Hospice Champion – this means making a pledge to raise £1,000 over a year.

Part of the garden redesign will include a labyrinth. The pathway through the garden and onto the labyrinth will be made of “gifted” pavestones. People are invited to buy a pavestone which can be inscribed with someone’s name or a message. Single bricks cost £50, double bricks cost £100 and large granite paving stones cost £1,000.

For more information on this or how to help with fundraising email or 01484 557 911.