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We did it! Final funds raised to complete the new Hospice build

After just over three years of fundraising by thousands of loyal supporters, Thames Hospice’s appeal to help build a new, larger state-of-the-art hospice for its community has finally reached its goal with all services now able to run from the new facility.

The charity’s fundraising campaign started in 2017 with a £6 million target and was launched publicly in 2019 to raise the remaining £3 million needed to complete the £22 million new build, creating a centre of excellence for modern hospice care and serving even more people across Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.

Over that time, trusts and foundations, local organisations, community groups and thousands of local and influential people have either donated directly to the build, gardens or emergency appeals, shopped in our stores, introduced us to new supporters or arranged fundraising events of their own – with each one making their own contribution towards ‘Raising the Roof’ on the new hospice, all while keeping services running during a difficult time through the pandemic.

Debbie Raven, Chief Executive Thames Hospice, said: “On behalf of everyone at Thames Hospice, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support that so many organisations and local people have shown us since we launched our appeal, and of course throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Whether you gave to Raise the Roof or to help us continue to deliver vital services during and after the pandemic, we would not be here without you.

“Thanks to our fantastic fundraisers in the community we are now one of the UK’s leading hospices, and our staff and volunteers will be able to care for thousands of people and their loved ones now and for years to come.”

With a small delay of just three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Hospice was thrilled to welcome its first patients in October 2020. Despite going through the most difficult part of the pandemic in January 2021, all 28 bedrooms on the Inpatient Unit opened earlier this month.

The new facility means that Thames Hospice will be able to care for twice as many patients in a bright, modern hospice at every stage of their life-limiting condition. Set in eight acres of stunning landscaped gardens, overlooking Bray Lake, patients and their loved ones will be supported in a relaxing, friendly and welcoming environment.

Debbie Raven continued: “We must build on this incredible swell of support, ensuring that the new hospice has the funds and resources it needs to provide urgent care for patients and their loved ones now and into the future. Many of us will have known or will know someone who could benefit from hospice care at some point in our lives, so Thames Hospice is critical frontline support for the local community.”

“Our focus over the next 12 months will be to fully reopen our day therapy and wellbeing services as lockdown restrictions ease, as well as launching new services so that families get the best and most seamless care when facing their biggest challenges in life.”

The charity is also looking forward to welcoming back its customers to the new Hospice shop and café, both located at the heart of the new facility in the main reception. Together with its 22 high street shops, Café by the Lake and Thames Hospice Shop No.23 will be reopening very soon, in accordance with government guidelines. There are also lots of exciting volunteering opportunities in the shops and at the new hospice. Please visit www.thameshospice.org.uk/volunteer to find out more.

Debbie Raven added: “After this terrible year everyone understands the importance of care in a crisis and when facing a bereavement. Thank you for helping to ensure that every patient who needs the Hospice can get a bed when they are so ill that can no longer stay at home. Thank you for creating a safe place for those at the end of their lives, to die with dignity in peaceful surroundings. Thank you for ensuring that any family dealing with a bereavement is cared for by our counselling team. Thank you for ensuring the community team can continue to meet the demand of supporting families at home.

“Once restrictions are eased, please visit us and take a moment to feel proud of what you have achieved – the power of the many to look after those who need it most.”

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