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Stephen Fry urges others to get behind £12.5m Priscilla Bacon Hospice campaign

PUBLISHED: 11:34 23 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:34 23 October 2020

Stephen Fry has backed the appeal and is urging others to do the same. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Stephen Fry has backed the appeal and is urging others to do the same. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Archant Norfolk.

Actor and author, Stephen Fry, has backed a campaign to raise vital funds to build a new hospice for Norfolk and Waveney.

The artist impressions of the proposed Priscilla Bacon Lodge hospice on the edge of Norwich. Chief executive officer of the Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal, Mark Nicholas, is pictured on the left. Picture: Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal/Sophie WyllieThe artist impressions of the proposed Priscilla Bacon Lodge hospice on the edge of Norwich. Chief executive officer of the Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal, Mark Nicholas, is pictured on the left. Picture: Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal/Sophie Wyllie

Last week, this newspaper issued a rallying call to help the Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal break ground on a new site and start building work on a specialist hospice next year.

The campaign, which we are officially backing, was first launched in February 2019 and so far more than £6.7m has been raised of the £12.5m funding target.

Once built, the state-of-the-art palliative care unit, containing 24 beds, day patient and outreach facilities, next to the Norfolk and Norwich University would replace the 40-year-old Priscilla Bacon Lodge on Unthank Road, Norwich.

But, as with other charities, the campaign has been hit hard by the coronavirus due to lack of fundraising opportunities amid ongoing restrictions.

Hugo Stevenson Priscilla Bacon Hospice. Picture: Priscilla Bacon HospiceHugo Stevenson Priscilla Bacon Hospice. Picture: Priscilla Bacon Hospice

To combat the problem, the charity has launched its £3 to Break Ground campaign to help it reach £8m, which would allow building work to start next summer - a move which has received the support of Mr Fry.

The campaign is appealing to every adult in Norfolk and Waveney to donate £3 by the end of 2020 to help achieve this total.

In a video, shared exclusively with this paper, Mr Fry described the hospice as “one of Norfolk’s most wonderful and important institutions”.

He said: “I urge you, if you can, to help support this wonderful campaign to break ground and build the new hospice.”

Alan and Anna Money at Caroline House, Colman Hospital. Picture: CAROLINE HOUSEAlan and Anna Money at Caroline House, Colman Hospital. Picture: CAROLINE HOUSE

Hugo Stevenson, head of fundraising and communications, added: “We are absolutely thrilled and very grateful to Stephen Fry for his filmed endorsement of our £3 to Break Ground campaign.

“Covid-19 has increased the demand for hospice services and will increase future need for end-of-life care.

“Nationally nearly 2.5 million people missed out on cancer tests and treatments during the first wave of the pandemic. If procedures had been allowed to go ahead, lives would have been saved or extended - the consequences will be felt for years to come.

“The need for the new hospice is now even more desperate.”

- To donate go to the just giving website or visit here to get involved. You can also contact the fundraising team by ringing 0330 223 4274, emailing fundraising@priscillabaconhospice.org.uk, or writing to Priscilla Bacon Hospice Fundraising Office, 20 Low Road, Drayton, Norwich, NR8 6AA.

Trust, charity, and café team up to make final birthday wishes come true

At the start of lockdown Alan was admitted to Caroline House, adjacent to Priscilla Bacon Lodge, at Colman Hospital, Norwich, for end-of-life care.

Due to Covid-19, he has not been able to have visitors as normal and after seven months as an inpatient, the staff wanted to do something special for his birthday.

With the help of the Priscilla Bacon Hospice charity, The Courtyard Café on Elm Hill came to the rescue by delivering a special lunch and cold beers to Caroline House for a tea party outside.

Owner Jodie Hook said: “We are in awe of the amazing end-of-life care the patients and families receive, so we are delighted to do anything we can to help and support them.”

Anna Money, highly specialist speech and language therapist at Caroline House, added: “It was wonderful to give Alan a birthday party and share this with the hardworking staff team around him.

“Whilst we were unable to meet his wish of going to the pub, it was fabulous to still make his day special.”


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