Stephen Fry video appeal sparks £1m gift to new Norfolk hospice

Stephen Fry's video to promote the Priscilla Bacon Hospice

Publicity from Norfolk-born Stephen Fry's video to promote the Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal has led to a £1m donation from the John Pearce Foundation. - Credit: Priscilla Bacon Hospice

The Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal has received a £1 million donation after a video featuring Stephen Fry. 

The campaign to build a £12.5m specialist hospice in Norfolk has received a significant boost following the donation from the John Pearce Foundation.

Priscilla Bacon Hospice received the funding after its £3 to Break Ground campaign received local and national publicity from Norfolk-born Stephen Fry, whose video to promote the campaign was seen by the foundation.

This large donation, together with a number of other private commitments and the success of the charity’s £3 to Break Ground campaign, means the appeal - supported by this newspaper - has raised an additional £1.7m over the last six months. 

The charity now plans to break ground on the project later this year.

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Stephen Fry said he was stunned his video had encouraged a £1m donation. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Mr Fry said: “In October, I recorded a short video for Priscilla Bacon Hospice to launch their £3 to Break Ground campaign. 

“I urged you to help support this wonderful campaign to break ground and build the new hospice. So many of you have been so generous and donated to the appeal, but I am stunned that the video encouraged a remarkable donation of £1 million! This means that they can start to build this summer!”

Set up in 2018, the John Pearce Foundation represents part of the legacy of the late John Pearce, a talented businessman and investor noted for his generosity and lifelong passion for thoroughbreds. 

An artist's impression of the new Priscilla Bacon Hospice. Photo: Priscilla Bacon Hospice

An artist's impression of the new Priscilla Bacon Hospice.  - Credit: Priscilla Bacon Hospice

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Initially focused on the support of animals and people within the racing and breeding industry, the foundation's scope was expanded to include palliative care charities in 2020. 

Rupert Bentley, the foundation’s chairman of trustees, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has only served to highlight the need for flexible, community-oriented palliative care and we are confident the hospice’s new state-of-the-art facility will be able to provide just that. 

“We are especially pleased to have been able to help the charity get to their ‘break ground’ threshold and look forward to seeing the building works progress over the coming weeks and months."

An artist's impression of the new Priscilla Bacon Hospice. Photo: Priscilla Bacon Hospice

An artist's impression of the new Priscilla Bacon Hospice.  - Credit: Priscilla Bacon Hospice

Robert Carter, chairman of the trustees for Priscilla Bacon Hospice, said: “We are indebted to everyone for supporting our campaign and especially the generosity of the John Pearce Foundation. 

“Alongside a number of significant personal contributions what has been particularly pleasing has been how individuals like Stephen Fry have very successfully encouraged everyone to support this essential initiative.”

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The Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal was launched in 2019 and has seen the people of Norfolk and Waveney give donations exceeding £8.4m. - Credit: Archant

New hospice to build on 40-year legacy of Priscilla Bacon

The new Priscilla Bacon Hospice will be built next to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and will replace the 40-year-old Priscilla Bacon Lodge on Unthank Road, Norwich.

It will contain 24 beds, as well as day patient and outreach facilities, as well as a coordination centre for the community nursing team, who deliver end-of-life care in the home. 

It will also be a platform for education and research into palliative and end-of-life care supporting improvements in provision locally and nationally.

Staff and volunteers at the current Priscilla Bacon Lodge. Photo: Priscilla Bacon Hospice

Staff and volunteers at the current Priscilla Bacon Lodge. - Credit: Priscilla Bacon Hospice

The appeal was launched in 2019 and remains ongoing as it aims to raise the £12.5 million necessary to complete the building project. 

Donations can be made at priscillabaconhospice.org.uk/donate. To get involved contact 0330 223 4274 or fundraising@priscillabaconhospice.org.uk

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