A special ground-breaking event was held on Friday 19 May 2023 to mark the start of construction work on the new Wellbeing Wing at ellenor hospice in Coldharbour Road, Gravesend.
The Lady Colgrain, The Lord Lieutenant of Kent, was joined by the ellenor hospice Board of Trustees and Leadership Team, as well as members of the construction team and invited members of the community, as work begins to transform the site ahead of reopening in Spring 2024.
The Wellbeing Therapeutic Wing is being built in the grounds of ellenor hospice and will receive a wealth of modern, improved facilities, all of which are set to benefit patients, families and staff. This will allow the charity ellenor to continue and grow its support for people living with life limiting conditions – such as cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease – to live the best they can with the time they have left.
The new Wellbeing Therapeutic Wing marks the start of ellenor’s hospice upgrade programme. The bigger space will provide improved facilities with new counselling rooms, improved play therapy rooms for children, and a large multipurpose area for a range of therapeutic activities; it will also serve as a place for health and social care professionals to receive education and training in palliative and end-of-life care.
Lady Colgrain says: “I am thrilled to be breaking new ground on this exciting project for ellenor, which will make a hugely significant and long-lasting impact in an area where there is a real need for such services. The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to deliver exceptional care to patients and their families, and this new facility will help them to improve and develop the vital support they give at a time when it is most needed.”
ellenor CEO Paula Wilkins says: “The project marks an extraordinary new chapter in ellenor hospice’s history. Thanks to the wonderful kindness and support of our donors and supporters, we will be able to help care for local people and future generations living with life-limiting conditions”.
Designed by architects, RH Partnership, project managed by Northmores with Faithful + Gould as the QS and cost consultant, the scheme is being built by Barnes Construction, who has over 45-year history, delivered numerous healthcare schemes.
Chris Bruce, Pre-Contracts Director at Barnes Construction said: “We’re looking forward to supporting the Hospice in the delivery of this modern wellbeing facility for the local community. Barnes’s recent track record and experience in delivering other new hospices such as the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge, the East Anglian Children’s Hospice in Ipswich, the Fair Havens Hospice in Southend, and the new St Catherine’s Hospice currently being built in Crawley, means that we can demonstrate our commitment to both the construction of the project, as well as our support to the Hospice with any community events that will be taking place in the months ahead.”
With spades now in the ground, the next couple of months will see construction gather pace on the new extension, with the installation of a retaining wall and the foundations before the steel frame is erected in the coming months.
The roots for ellenor were first laid in the early 1980s by Graham Perrolls, inspired by the deaths of both his parents Ellen and Norman, after one died at home and the other in a hospice. The hospice officially opened its doors in 1992 to the local community thanks to the commitment and generosity of the local Lions Club in the early years and has continued to care and support thousands of people and their families living with life limiting conditions.
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