Following rapid growth in services over the past four years, and a threefold increase in the number of people being cared for, St Clare Hospice have been given the go ahead by Epping Forest District Council to replace two dilapidated old sheds at the rear of the building that are no longer fit for purpose with a new office and storage facility.
Since 2013 alone, day therapy facilities have been enhanced, the community team of St Clare specialist nurses expanded and a new Hospice at Home service launched to enable people to receive end of life care in their own homes.
Chief executive Tanya Curry said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the plans have been approved. The past few years have been an incredibly exciting period of development for St Clare. The number of people we are able to support has tripled to more than 1,400 a year. But, of course, to achieve this, our staffing levels have been increasing across the hospice. As a stopgap measure, our retail team moved out to rented accommodation 4 years ago, but with the ongoing growth in our services, we are still desperately in need of more office space.
“The purpose-built facility means that we can save money on rent by bringing our retail office back on site and it will free up space in the main building for our expanding community, day therapy and family support teams.”
Following a detailed consultation process, Weston Homes was appointed to undertake the construction project. The proposed two-storey building will have storage space for vital clinical equipment and fundraising resources, whilst the upper floor will provide an open plan office for some of the hospice’s essential support and administrative staff. The design proposal includes dedicated facilities for the maintenance and gardening teams as well.
Tanya said: “Our vision is to be able to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place for every family who needs it. But we are not there yet and with an ageing population and people living longer, we need to continue to develop and expand our services to achieve our vision. Many more people wish to be cared for in their own home, and this is where our emphasis has to be.”
Bob Weston, CEO of Weston Homes, commented “We are delighted to support St Clare Hospice with the new two storey office, which will provide much needed space for the staff who do such a fantastic job providing specialist care for those living with terminal or life limiting illnesses. We have supported St Clare Hospice for the last 13 years and have helped raise over half a million pounds for the charity and we are proud to continue that support with the new office.”