St Michael’s Hospice gets ready for rebuild

Fire damage to the ground floor at St Michael's Hospice SUS-151014-120022001
Fire damage to the ground floor at St Michael's Hospice SUS-151014-120022001

St Michael’s hospice is getting set to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the devastating fire in July and has announced a forthcoming Capital Appeal.

Most of the hospice building has remained closed since the blaze, which claimed the lives of two people, ripped through the building in the early hours of Saturday, July 11.

Fire damage to the ground floor at St Michael's Hospice SUS-151014-120034001

Fire damage to the ground floor at St Michael's Hospice SUS-151014-120034001

Despite the tragic events of the summer, Irene Dibben, chairman of St Michael’s Hospice, says they are looking to the future.

“As we enter week ten after the truly devastating fire and all the sadness and disruption, things are starting to calm down and we are able to get into a more normal routine,” she said.

“All our in-patients are now located in one building (Hastings Court, on The Ridge) and we are able to continue providing specialist palliative care and support to those throughout Hastings and Rother with life-limiting illnesses.

“We have been extremely grateful for everyone’s help and support. We literally had to pick the hospice up and put it somewhere else, it just proves it is more than just a building, it is the staff, volunteers and patients that make it so special.

“The local community has been absolutely amazing and we have been completely overwhelmed with all the fundraising events that people have organised and for all the offers of help.”

Irene says she is delighted to announce that St Michael’s board of trustees has approved the spend to redevelop the hospice building. The redevelopment will include relocating in-patients over two floors rather than the previous three, all rooms will be private with their own en-suite bathroom, which will maximise patient space and enable easier access.

“The redevelopment costs will be covered in part by our own reserves and reimbursement from our insurance company as well as additional fundraising. The plans have been agreed by the hospice board of trustees and will be available for public viewing soon,” she said.

She added: “Lots of people have been asking how they can help and we will be coming to the public within the next few months with plans of our forthcoming Capital Appeal.”

The Observer series is delighted to announce that it will be the official partner supporting the appeal which will give the local community the opportunity to get involved and support their hospice.

“We hope to announce the building plans and the Capital Appeal to the public early in the new year. Any funding for this project will be in addition to our normal fundraising, which equates to just over £10k per day or £3.7m per year,” said Irene.


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