WORK has begun to create a £1.8m centre to help anyone affected by life-threatening illnesses.
The Rowans Hospice held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of building The Living Well Centre, next to the hospice in Purbrook Heath Road, Purbrook.
Mayor of Winchester Councillor Angela Clear and honorary chairman of trustees Ian Young performed the ceremony.
A blessing was offered by the hospice’s spiritual care chaplain Carol Gully.
Guests included a number of people who have donated towards the cost of the building project, which is being met completely by charitable donations.
Ruth White, chief executive of the hospice, said: ‘We hope our Living Well Centre will be an inspiring place in which to work, visit, socialise and find comfort. It will be a physical expression of the care we provide and reflect another significant contribution from the Rowans Hospice to the provision of palliative care services locally.
‘The centre will also allow us to build even stronger ties with our community, as we work together to shape the future of hospice care.’
The centre will provide a place where people affected by life-threatening illness can walk in to access information, have compassionate conversations and receive therapies that support independence and wellbeing.
It will offer support to those who may not be in need of end-of-life care straight away, and also younger people with terminal illnesses.
An opening ceremony will take place next year and it is hoped the centre will be up and running by August,
The hospice received a grant of £510,000 from the Department of Health and was then awarded an additional £87,500 by NHS England, which also pays for health services in the area.
A further £325,000 has been supplied from grants and £302,000 in donations from the community.
Fundraising for the project is continuing.
If you would like to donate money, call the fundraising team on (023) 9223 7142.