IT’S another significant milestone on the journey to opening Winchester Hospice – the fundraising appeal is now only 10 per cent away from its £3.7million target.

The total on the prominent appeal thermometer outside Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) has been raised to the 90 per cent milestone – and The Big Push campaign will now focus on bringing in the final £370,000 to get the hospice open in 2021.

Raising the thermometer last week was timely, coming as it did during Hospice Care Week – a national campaign which puts the spotlight on the amazing care and support provided by palliative care and end of life teams to support individual and families in the nation’s 200-plus hospices.

Dr Lara Alloway, Winchester Hospice trustee, palliative consultant and chief medical officer for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), said: “We are delighted to reach the 90 per cent funding milestone, and it was fitting that this landmark was achieved in Hospice Care Week.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to, and supported, the Winchester Hospice appeal so far. The team involved in the Winchester Hospice campaign are so grateful for the wonderful support that we have received from local people.

“Our goal in the short-term is to reach the £3.7m target that will get Winchester Hospice open next year. The focus will then move on to raising vital funds that will help to cover the annual running costs of this much-needed facility which is going to make such a big difference to local people.”

Winchester Hospice appeal ambassador Mike Bridge joined Dr Alloway in raising the thermometer to the new figure.

“We are almost there,” said Mike. “I remember when the thermometer was at 30 per cent, so to see it at 90 per cent is marvellous. We are now within touching distance of the target to get the hospice open.”

Raising the appeal thermometer was just one of many highlights for the Winchester Hospice team during Hospice Care Week. Others included:

• The Guildhall clock was turned purple on Monday, October 5 to celebrate Hospice Care Week

• HHFT junior doctors, from RHCH, made a £1,500 donation from their social fund to Winchester Hospice

• A new 360-video showing progress of work inside Winchester Hospice went live on

• Winchester Fit Club members raised funds for the hospice campaign through two charity workouts

• Members of Energie Fitness Winchester, in Brook Street, piled on the miles and raised funds by taking on a London to New York challenge, clocking up 3,459 miles

• The HHFT palliative care team raised more than £540 for the Winchester Hospice appeal through a charity market stall in the city centre on Saturday.

The national lockdown caused by the pandemic meant work had to be halted on transforming Burrell House, on the RHCH site, into Winchester Hospice in March. However, workers from Reside Construction have been back on site since the end of May and have been pressing ahead with the construction.

Winchester Hospice will be run by HHFT. Its palliative care team have been a driving force behind the ambitious project as they know how important it is to have a local hospice facility that will help, support and care for the people of Winchester and the surrounding area.

Winchester Hospice will be the hub for specialist palliative care, providing inpatient care for up to 10 patients, as well as a host of outpatient and community support for people in their own homes.