Patients’ plea for fundraisers to support hospice’s campaign

Ray Smith and bank nurse Claire Cross at The Norfolk Hospice Tapping House in Snettisham. Picture: I

Ray Smith and bank nurse Claire Cross at The Norfolk Hospice Tapping House in Snettisham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Patients and volunteers at a hospice which is trying to raise money to switch premises say a move is badly needed because they do not have enough space in their current building.

Even though patients at The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, described the care they received there as 'our lifeline', they also said: 'They are very limited with space for what they want to do.'

Earlier this year hospice chief executive Richard Shaw confirmed it would be moving from its current Snettisham base to a £3.25m facility near to the A148 at Hillington so it can 'offer a much-needed service that we are unable to provide a present'.

Work has already started on the new site but Mr Shaw has warned that it may not be able to cover the running costs unless more people support the fundraising project.

Mavis Leak, 75, of Saddlebow, a pulmonary thrombosis sufferer who visits one day per week for physiotherapy and other services, said: 'I'm housebound and all I've got left now is my dignity. It's lovely just to come here, get out of the house and mix with others.

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'When you come to the hospice, they listen to you. However they do need more room.'

For example, she said the hospice has to use a conservatory for some of its activities, even though it is not necessarily suited to the tasks.

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Staff also said they have complex booking arrangements for rooms because of limited space. When they want to use a relaxation rooms, for instance, a nearby toilet has to be closed so it does not disrupt to patients.

Mrs Leak said: 'In the new hospice, they'll have proper room where you can go and they won't have to keep setting it up for you.'

Volunteer Kay Ingram, 60, an ex-NHS worker from Downham Market, said patients needed 'an environment appropriate to needs', adding: 'Sometimes at home, with the best will in the world, the care is not adequate and it puts a lot of pressure on the family. Being in a hospice environment helps people accept their illness and come to terms with it.'

'It is really about finding space to have privacy. To some extent, there isn't space for that privacy.'

Fellow volunteer Peter Gathergood, 63, from Dersingham, added: 'We're like a day centre here. What we need is a hospice with beds where people can get respite care.'

Those who want to donate should visit the website or text BRIC05 £5 to 70070.

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