By Chris Willmott 24/04 Updated: 24/04 16:54
YOUR Hospice Needs You.
That is the message from the fundraising team behind the Big Build Appeal as they revealed that an amazing £3 million has been raised for the new £7 million state-of-the-art hospice in Solihull.
The charity has been overwhelmed by the support it has received from the people of Solihull - and further afield - who have helped raise such an impressive total in less than a year since the launch of the Big Build campaign.
But now it asking those who are already onboard to keep on raising money and for anyone who hasn't signed up to help the fundraising mission to do so.
Noel Cramer, the BIG build appeal director said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the local community and want to thank everyone who has helped us reach this milestone.
"We’re not there yet though and today we start a major new push to raise the remaining £4million.
"We need each and every person in Solihull and Birmingham to get involved.
"By donating, taking part in a fundraising event, organising a fundraising activity or getting their companies, schools or networks involved everyone can be a part of local history.
"Together we can build a new hospice for the local community.”
Observer editor Chris Willmott visited the site in Marsh Lane this week to see how building work is progressing and to speak to the nurses who work there and the volunteers who have been instrumental in helping reach that amazing £3 million mark.
Fundraiser Nino Pellegrina lost his wife Dorothy to cancer on Boxing day 2010.
She spent the final days of her life in the charity's current hospice where she was given the very best care by the finest of nurses to ensure a dignified and as comfortable as possible time.
Nino and his family were so grateful for the care Marie Curie took of Dorothy that they have been fundraising for the charity - and the new hospice - ever since.
"My wife was a beautiful in death as she was in life," the 71-year-old said.
"The care she received at Marie Curie was so amazing that we have been compelled to raise money so they can care for other people the same way they did for my Dorothy.
"Raising money is a tribute to my wife - and the fantastic new hospice will be a lasting tribute to all the people who have been supported by Marie Curie whether it is in the hospice or the comfort of their own homes.
"I would like to urge everyone in Solihull whose life has been touched by cancer to dig deep and help find the £4 million still needed."
The new hospice is set to open this time next year.
There will be 24 new bedrooms - all south facing and at ground floor level so residents can enjoy the sunshine in the landscaped gardens - even if they are unable to get out of bed as the doors have been made large enough for the beds to be taken into the garden.
Each room will have improved, private facilities and enough room to add an additional bed for a family member to stay by their loved one's side day and night.
The building itself, which has been designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible, will house all Marie Curie staff from nurses and carers who care for residents to those who visit terminally ill people in their own homes.
There will be room for staff training, care co-ordination, daycare services, homeopathic treatments and much more besides - facilities the current hospice is simply unable to offer.
Day Centre staff nurse Rachel Perry said the new hospice would be able to offer better care for more patients and improved services across the board.
"What we do at the current hospice is already fantastic, but there are certain things we aren't able to do there which we will be able to at the new hospice because it has been specially designed for us," she said.
If you would like to donate money, organise a fundraising event or take part in a Marie Curie-organised fundraiser there are several ways to get involved.
Visit www.mariecurie.org.uk - find them on Facebook or twitter or call the fundraising team on 0121 254 7848.
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