STEPHEN Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, joined staff and supporters of St Luke’s Hospice last week to help break new ground for the forthcoming development.
Together with Gerry Peaty, Chairman of St Luke’s Trustee Board, Mr Metcalfe picked up a shovel to mark the beginning of the building of a new vibrant Day Therapy, Assessment and Support Centre which will enable the Hospice to take a significant step forward in helping more people and enable them to offer a greater variety of services in the future.
The local MP also gave a speech in which he thanked all those who have been involved in securing funding for the development and all those who work so hard on a daily basis to make St Luke’s a centre of excellence.
The new build will provide fit for purpose facilities for clinical consultation and assessment, therapeutic activities, physiotherapy, complementary therapy and an Information and Advice Hub contained within a new two story annexe joining the current Day Hospice.
The majority of funding for the project, which is set to cost £775,000, was awarded to St. Luke’s by the Department of Health following a successful bid for funding by the Hospice.
The Department of Health award presented the Hospice with a short-fall of some £ 230,000 against the full project budget and has been further funded from the Hospices small pool of capital reserves that have come about from specific designated legacies donated to St. Lukes together with further capital grant applications made by the Hospice.
Amongst those attending the ceremony were grant funders and Hospice patients who had a significant role in the consultation process.
Eileen Marshall, Chief Executive at St. Luke’s explained “Patient involvement helped us to shape the project and design some of the facilities, their support was important to us in underpinning our commitment to making sure that services remain rooted within the needs of our patients.’’
Stephen Metcalfe, who supported the Hospice in obtaining some of the grant funding, said: “It was a privilege to play a part in breaking new ground for St Luke’s and I am delighted that the they are now able to go ahead with building this fantastic facility. The Hospice already makes an enormous difference to the lives of those affected by terminal illness and the additional services that will now be provided will only better this.”
“My sincere thanks go to all those who worked so hard to bring this project to fruition and I will continue to support their great work in whatever I can.”