A CALL to arms has been made for a final push to make the vision for a £3.7million hospice in Winchester a reality.

Work began on Winchester Hospice in January but a further £500,000 is needed so Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Winchester Hospice Fundraising Charity can pay for the entire build.

The project to convert the historic Burrell House building at Royal Hampshire County Hospice in a much-needed 10-bed hospice and palliative care hub, providing specialist care for patients was given the go-ahead in February last year.

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer and palliative care consultant at the hospital trust, said: “It’s already shaping up to be a fantastic year, which is all down to the inspiring dedication of our brilliant fundraisers, who have already raised £3.2million. We are so excited to see work begin, but we still have a way to go to raise the full amount needed to be able to complete the work to transform Burrell House into a much-needed hospice for Winchester.

“This month, we are launching our Big Push fundraising campaign, encouraging members of the local community to get behind us and help us to achieve the last 20 per cent of funding that we need, based on current construction costs.”

Today the campaign was launched with fundraisers, ambassadors, trust staff and those who will benefit from the hospice present to hear updates on the scheme.

Talks were given by Dr Alloway; Maddy Thomson, clinical matron; Nick Vaughan, the charity’s chair of trustees; and Andy Sparks, director of Reside Construction – the company in charge of the build.

Dr Alloway added: “Our work won’t stop there – once we reach the target fundraising will continue, so that we can continue to offer the people of Winchester the best and most comfortable hospice that we can, such as upgrading the beds and investing more in the outside spaces.”

The hospice, on the site of Royal Hampshire County Hospital, will be there to care for patients with long term conditions or who are at the end of their lives.

The work will see the hospice provide inpatient care for up to ten patients at a time, as well as a host of outpatient and community services.

To find out more about Winchester Hospice, and how to get involved, visit www.winchesterhospice.com.

Read more about how the hospice will impact the area in next week's Hampshire Chronicle.