A new inpatient unit at St Luke’s Hospice - paid for in part thanks to The Star - has been given the Royal seal of approval.
Prince Richard, The Duke of Gloucester, toured the new extended and refurbished £5.5 million In Patient Centre at the hospice in Whirlow.
The Star has so far raised more than half of the £100,000 it pledged for one of the single rooms in the new unit, with £50,000 alone coming from our Great Pie and Peas Up campaign.
Hundreds of pie and pea suppers were hosted by readers, residents, businesses, schools and community groups, with proceeds going towards St Luke’s fundraising target.
The Queen’s cousin looked around the hospice before meeting patients and staff, unveiling a commemorative plaque, and signing the guest book.
He praised fundraisers and staff for their hard work, and the architects for their design.
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The new unit, which aims to allow patients to carry on as normal a life as possible, accommodates 20 patients in 14 single rooms and two three-bedded rooms.
The Duke said: “I congratulate those who have played a part in developing St Luke’s over the decade and, in particular, this new wing which you have clearly designed with great care and attention and which is already full of your patients who feel extremely comfortable and well looked after.”
Following the Duke’s visit, BBC television presenter Harry Gration took part in a dedication ceremony with patients.
Gaynor Boon, aged 52, from Woodhouse, has ovarian cancer and has been staying in the unit for a week while her pain relief is managed.
The former curator at Sheffield Museums said: “This is my first visit. It’s amazing really. Coming in you feel like you are walking into a hotel environment and are treated like a hotel guest.
“You have got state-of-the-art nursing and pain management, but on top of that there is the hospitality side.
“You’ve got a lovely room with a balcony, a menu which offers three-course lunches and dinners, and a restaurant service.
“My dog Hunney, a long haired golden retriever, is also allowed to visit! She comes most days which makes it feel like a home from home.”
Una Moran, director of fundraising at St Luke’s Hospice, described the unit as ‘a gift by the people of Sheffield, for the people of Sheffield’.
She said: “Everyone who has contributed should be proud of the part they have played in creating this gift for the people of Sheffield, which will be here for many years to come.”
She added: “It never ceases to amaze me the ways people think of to raise money, and the generosity people find to stretch themselves to support this hospice, which supports about 6,000 people across Sheffield every single year, including patients and loved ones.”