Thousands back Kettering hospice's bid for new home

If a new home can't be found, the north of the county will be left without any hospice beds

By Sam Wildman
Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 6:00 am
Cransley Hospice shop volunteer Mary Carr shows her support for keeping it local
Cransley Hospice shop volunteer Mary Carr shows her support for keeping it local

A bid to find to a new home for Kettering's Cransley Hospice has been backed by almost 3,000 people.

The much-loved hospice needs to relocate because its lease on the nine-bed unit next to St Mary's Hospital ends in 2023 - and if it can't find a new home the north of the county will be left without hospice beds.

Earlier this year the hospice, which opened in 1998, appealed for support for a new home with a charter to "help us keep it local" calling for hospice beds to remain in the area.

And since then 2,893 people have given it their backing - one for every 56 minutes since its launch in February. A total of 700 pledges were given in person at the hospice’s shop and coffee shop in Horse Market, before the Covid-19 lockdown in March, and pledges are now being made online at www.cransleyhospice.org.uk/cransley-hospice-charter/.

Peter Kelby, chief executive of Cransley Hospice Trust, said: “We’re very grateful for the support.

"I’m sure the numbers would probably have been even bigger by now, if it wasn’t for the lockdown. If you haven’t signed the charter yet, please do so - and ask your friends and family to do the same.

“This is vital. We cannot allow a situation where people in the north of our county have to travel to Northampton or beyond for inpatient hospice care.”

The charity, which has provided compassionate end-of-life care and support for thousands of patients, has decided the best solution is to build a new hospice at a cost of £8.5m.

It has committed to raising at least £3m and is seeking support from the local health and care system to provide the balance.

The trust is also raising awareness of its work. Its “Gift a flower” campaign features a powerful film of a young girl growing irises - a symbol of hope- and then giving them to her mum, who’s been receiving hospice care. The film can be viewed at https://youtu.be/8UmJ7snnhr8.

Cransley Hospice also provides home visits, physiotherapy, bereavement support, emotional and spiritual care, and a service for people with lymphoedema, swelling caused by cancer and its treatment.

The charity needs to raise well over £1m every year to keep its services going but fundraising has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.