Plea for county’s wealthy residents to fund Norfolk Hospice project near King’s Lynn
The county's wealthy residents are being urged to help fund a new multi-million pound hospice in Norfolk.
Work on Norfolk Hospice's �4m new full-service hospice which will provide 12 inpatients beds officially began on August 3.
But chief executive Richard Shaw said the charity still needed �2.7m to finish the work at Hillington, near King's Lynn, and wanted the rich to step in and help.
He said: 'We are a third of the way towards raising the total amount we need, but we don't want to go to the public to raise the rest because times are tough and the public already support us so well.
'Instead our fundraising team is looking to raise the bulk of the money from some of the wealthy residents in Norfolk – the kind who could just write a cheque for what we need and it not have any impact on them.
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'We have identified at least 20 people in the county who could do that and we hope they will want to give something back to their community.'
Mr Shaw, who has been in his post for just over a year, said he hoped to have secured the funding by next summer, which would enable the new hospice to fully open 2013.
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When built, the new hospice at Hillington will fill the 'black hole' in the area and will be an 'important' centre for the future of end-of-life care, Mr Shaw added.
He continued: 'Currently the NHS has its own hospice at Pricilla Bacon Lodge, in Norwich, which is an excellent facility for people in Norwich and the surrounding suburbs.
'But move to the north or to the west and the palliative care support is provided by a combination of six beds at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn and our day hospice in Snettisham.
'We believe this is not enough for the population we serve and that at least 20 beds are needed.
'This is why the work has started at Hillington and why we are appealing for wealthy Norfolk residents to help us reach our target quickly.'
The charity supports more than 280 people every month at its current hospice in Snettisham and has the support of 250 volunteers as well as paid staff.
Mr Shaw said that the charity was also looking for a royal patron, which comes after Prince Charles met staff at the Sandringham Flower Show in July and asked to be kept informed about the charity.
After opening two new charity shops in King's Lynn and Fakenham, the charity will open a new store in Wisbech soon and hopes to also open three more in the next year – taking the number of Norfolk Hospice shops to nine.