Joy at unveiling of new facilities at The Rowans

RIBBON Editor of The News Mark Waldron, second left, opens the new reception at The Rowans Hospice with from left, chairman of trustees Ian Young, chief executive Ruth White and MP George Hollingbery. Picture: Steve Reid (122492-417)
RIBBON Editor of The News Mark Waldron, second left, opens the new reception at The Rowans Hospice with from left, chairman of trustees Ian Young, chief executive Ruth White and MP George Hollingbery. Picture: Steve Reid (122492-417)
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IT’S taken a year of painstaking effort to complete – but now community leaders have come together to celebrate a hospice’s new look.

The sun shone down as a new patient reception and a refurbished main entrance was unveiled at The Rowans Hospice, in Purbrook.

The main entrance is now home to a coffee shop, a dedicated ‘quiet’ room for people to sit and therapy and counselling rooms which are found on a mezzanine floor.

Visitors applauded as Mark Waldron, editor of The News, cut a green and red ribbon at the entrance of the patient reception.

Mr Waldron said: ‘I am absolutely delighted and humbled to be here. It’s a great honour.

‘The Rowans Hospice is an integral part of the community.’

Speeches were given by Mr Waldron, Ian Young, honorary chairman of the board of trustees, and chief executive Ruth White.

Rowans chaplain Lance Blake said a prayer.

Bunting was put up around The Rowans to mark the occasion.

Past honorary chairman of the board of trustees Elisabeth Gale was due to attend but because of ill health she was unable to.

Mr Young said: ‘I’m delighted with the work, it’s a continuation of The Rowans’ focus on providing dignity, support and care for patients, families and carers.’

The work, which began in April last year, cost £350,000 and was paid for by a Department of Health grant.

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery, who attended the event last night, said: ‘Investment in a place like this is excellent news.

‘These new facilities will serve to improve what The Rowans Hospice already has to offer. The people who work here do an incredible job.

‘I’m proud to be here.’

Ruth said: ‘It’s all about first impressions.

‘For some people coming to a hospice can be daunting and depressing. But what we’ve tried to create is a premises that is friendly and one that celebrates life.’