Work to provide additional office and storage space at St Clare Hospice got officially underway when long-serving volunteer Pat Prior helped demolish two dilapidated sheds to make way for the new purpose-built facilities.
Following rapid growth in St Clare services over the past four years, and a threefold increase in the number of people being cared for, the Hastingwood-based charity was granted permission over the summer to replace the old sheds at the rear of its site with a two-storey building accommodating extra office space and storage facilities.
Fundraising volunteer Pat was joined by St Clare’s chief executive Tanya Curry and Bob Weston, of Weston Homes, which has been appointed to undertake the construction project, to start the demolition work.
“The sheds were only ever meant to be temporary, but they’ve been in use for almost 20 years and are now no longer fit for purpose, so the demolition was long overdue,” Pat said. “Although it was nerve-wracking to get behind the controls of the digger, it was extremely satisfying to finally see them go to make way for the new building.”
Bob Weston CEO at Weston Homes commented: “The demolition of the sheds, marks the beginning of an exciting process to build the new facilities for St Clare Hospice and it is fantastic to see the works underway at the site. St Clare Hospice do such important work for the local community and I am proud to be able to support them in this endeavour.”
The new facility will mean St Clare will be able to free up space in its main building for its expanding community, day therapy and family support teams, as well as bring its retail team back on site from rented accommodation.
It will have storage space for vital clinical equipment and fundraising resources on the ground floor as well as dedicated facilities for the maintenance and gardening teams, while the upper floor will provide an open plan office for some of the Hospice’s essential support and administrative staff.
The Hospice car park is also being expanded to create additional spaces, along with extra disabled bays closer to the Hospice entrance.
Construction is due to be completed in the spring.