ST LUKE’S Hospice launched its £5 million appeal at a grand ceremony attended by more than 100 civic leaders, celebrities, councillors and business leaders.
Work is due to start at the Whirlow institution on a large-scale redevelopment next month - or it may be forced to close.
The Star is backing the appeal, and has pledged to raise £100,000 over the next two years to help build a new 20-bed inpatient unit for patients at the end of their lives.
Peter Hartland, chief executive of the charity, said: “For 41 years St Luke’s has been making a huge contribution to this city.
“It has provided care to adults suffering from life-limiting conditions of all types, from all backgrounds and all corners of the city.
“But our inpatient unit is now in need of radical improvement. It is no longer fit for our purposes or to meet our aspirations for true hospice care.
“Without significant investment our inpatient unit will fail and the hospice’s role in caring for the people of Sheffield will be at risk.”
Sir Nigel Knowles, of law firm DLA Piper which hosted the launch, told the audience he would try to raise £1 million from London contacts.
“St Luke’s cannot continue as it is,” he said. “But it cannot be allowed to fail, for the sake of every one of us in Sheffield.”
Roger Dickson, aged 86, was involved in fundraising for St Luke’s when it was first built in 1971.
“We had to raise £120,000,” the retired advertising agent told The Star.
“I remember Sheffield’s chief magistrate saying he doubted whether we could raise the money.
“But everyone pulled together - the great and the good, the unions, and all the citizens of Sheffield all mucked in.
“With the support in this city we can do it again.”