Rowans Hospice appeal hits £400,000 in just three months – after bumper £275,000 windfall from two trusts
This story was originally published in January 2018.
A major appeal to transform Rowans Hospice has raised an amazing £400,000 in just three months – including a £275,000 donation from two trusts.
In its 25th anniversary year, the hospice in Purbrook, Waterlooville launched a £7.5m Silver Jubilee Appeal in October to fund a three-year, three-phase project to improve the building and the care it provides.
Now chief executive Ruth White believes that this ambitious total can be reached thanks to the generosity of the community.
She said: ‘It is absolutely amazing that we have reached this point after only three months and it is so exciting to see everything move forward and that our dream is achievable.
‘The community has been really responsive so far and two trusts who wish to remain anonymous have given us £275,000, which is incredible. I am so glad they have such confidence in what we are doing that they have decided to give such a large amount of money.’
But Ruth added that every pound someone can give will make a difference.
She continued: ‘Those large donations are amazing, but the £5, £10 and £20 people are donating really add up. It is like crowdfunding, where it doesn’t matter the amount you are giving because everyone is helping for the dream to become a reality.
‘A gentleman associated with one of the trusts asked me how many people live in Portsmouth and the surrounding area and I told him it was about 600,000. He said that if everyone gave £10 have £6m and as Trustees have also allocated £1.5m from our reserve account, we would reach our goal.’
Silver Jubilee Appeal loose change boxes have raised more than £2,000 so far, while legacies have added £66,000 and corporate supporters over £20,000 while the trust’s own nurses put on a ball and raised over £3,000.
Ruth said: ‘To have people leaving money to us in their will is really humbling and in general legacy income brings in more than a third of our funding.
‘Interestingly a lot of people who leave us money are not even patients, just members of the community with some connection who want to give to a local charity. This money will really make a difference to the people we care for.’
The hospice team is in the process of contracting builders to start the first phase of the transformation project in April, which will see the lightening and brightening of all patient bedrooms and en-suite facilities at the Rowans, which serves the population of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire.
Interactive controls will be installed, along with quiet patio areas for families and friends, plus new seating areas and private spaces.
The dedicated patient entrance will be refurbished to improve first experiences at the hospice and the new route will include colour, light, images of nature on the walls and clouds on the ceiling.
The aim is to complete phase one by summer 2020.
Ruth explained: ‘We just really want to get going with it all now, so we need to make sure we have the funds in place to start the first phase. We then want to keep rolling out the phases and keep the builders on because otherwise costs could keep rising and we want to get it finished and within budget.’
She added: ‘Once we get the builders in, some of our patients’ rooms won’t be in use but we are making up for that by increasing our work in the community so patient care won’t suffer.’The Rowans has teamed up with The News as official media partner to publicise the Silver Jubilee Appeal and the work of the hospice.
Ruth added: ‘I want to thank The News and its readers as the publicity is raising awareness among people about what we are doing and why. We want to have a modern facility that caters to people’s needs.
‘It is important to us that it has more technology within the building so patients in bed can draw their own curtains or adjust their heating without having to call staff and they can retain a little bit of their independence.’
To find out more about the Rowans Silver Jubilee Appeal and how to get involved, visit silverjubilee.rowanshospice.co.uk
To read all the latest stories about the appeal, go to the portsmouth.co.uk home page and click on ‘Rowans Hospice’, plus don't miss the Rowans appeal page in The News every Friday.