Last year St Catherine's Hospice launched its Full Circle Appeal. An ambitious appeal to make sure that nobody in the local community has to face death and loss alone. This included raising £5 million to build a larger hospice at Pease Pottage.
Thanks to the amazing generosity of local people, the new hospice is well on track. And an incredible £1.25 million has been raised towards a new building.
More than 250 people have supported the local charity with donations for the new building. This includes a group of supporters, who each made a significant donation, to collectively fund the first patient room on the new ward.
Long standing supporters, The Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, contributed £200,000, and The Verity Waterlow Endowment, a small trust funding end of life care in the Horsted Keynes area, also gave an incredibly generous grant of half a million pounds. Andrew Ronaldson, a Trustee of the Endowment said, "Verity Waterlow was fiercely independent but as she became more frail, like many of us, she needed more help. Her will rewarded those who helped her and was the foundation of her Endowment fund. We know that St Catherine's depends on donations and other fundraising to do its work so the Trustees were delighted to give a grant for their new building. It was a natural choice for us."
But it was the 7th Crawley Beavers who were the first supporters of St Catherine's new building, when they donated profits from a cake and gingerbread bake sale.Yvonne Seetayah, Leader of the 7th Crawley Beaver Colony, said, "St Catherine's gives so much to people who are really, really desperate, so we wanted to give something back. Supporting the new hospice was a lovely way to do this."
All of this fundraising would not have been possible without two people whose generosity helped St Catherine's to realise their long held dream of a new larger hospice. Bill Bridges, who generously donated five acres of land to the hospice, and John Shemeld who left a legacy of almost £6 million in his will to the local charity.
The new hospice, which St Catherine's hopes to move into in early 2022, will allow the local charity to provide more care when it's needed most. It will allow hospice staff to offer respite care on the wards and more outpatient appointments. It will also allow them to give carers, looking after someone living with a terminal illness, better support.
At the moment St Catherine's can only help one in three people who need their support. But a larger hospice will help make sure that in years to come everybody can have hospice care. And that nobody is left to struggle alone.
Nick Bell, Director of the Capital Appeal at St Catherine's said, "Every donation, large or small, expresses the commitment of people in our local community to providing care for others. And we're thrilled to have passed the £1 million mark for our new building. We'd like to thank everyone who has supported us. This huge achievement wouldn't have happened without you. But we're not quite there yet! as we still need to raise more than £3 million. We're confident that, together, we'll achieve this though. So that in decades to come, our children, grandchildren, neighbours and friends will all have expert end of life care."
To find out more about St Catherine's new hospice plans and how you can support this historic milestone please visit: www.stch.org.uknewhospice.