the redevelopment of St Luke’s Hospice was given a big helping hand from the Government this week with a £865,000 contribution towards a £5m inpatient unit.
Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited the Whirlow centre yesterday (Wednesday) to meet staff and patients and to see the new hotel-style bedrooms.
The £865,906 grant is the second largest to hospices across the country and will ensure that the St Luke’s project remains on course.
“It will have a transforming effect on care for St Luke’s,” said Mr Clegg. “As MP for the hospice’s constituency I was very supportive of St Luke’s bid.”
He added: “Funding for hospice care has always been a mix of money from the NHS, from fundraising and from local councils. St Luke’s has demonstrated real effort in reaching out to the local community, who have been so generous year in, year out.
“It would be nice to say ‘Give them all of the money, all of the time’, but there isn’t any money left, for the reasons we all know about. It’s not quite as simple as that.”
The Government cash is going to the Room To Care Appeal.
Around £2.9m has already been raised ahead of the Government donation, and money is coming from local donations.
The Star’s Great Pie and Peas Up campaign - which saw scores of charity dinners held across Sheffield last month - is expected to generate tens of thousands of pounds.
The Star has pledged to raise £100,000 to pay for a new bedroom.
Una Moran, St Luke’s director of fundraising and communications, said: “Raising such a large amount of money is an extremely big challenge for the hospice and one we could not meet without the support of the people of Sheffield.”
Alex Pettifer, chairman of the charity, told Mr Clegg that Sheffield has ‘now got the hospice it deserves’.
“The idea was to create a sense of light, so people can come and sit in the corridor and sit among plants.”
St Luke’s has received a share of a £60m Government fund, which is being divided between 176 hospices across England.
Barnsley Hospice is being given £469,779, Rotherham Hospice will get £229,999 and St John’s Hospice in Doncaster will receive £452,374.
Mr Clegg said the extra funding will help bring hospices up to date, “so staff and volunteers can work in modern environments, helping them continue to provide wonderful support with compassion and kindness”.