Hospice joy after legacy gift

TWO beds are to be reopened at a Suffolk hospice following a major legacy donation from a former patient.

Laurence Cawley

TWO beds are to be reopened at a Suffolk hospice following a major legacy donation from a former patient.

Managers at St Nicholas Hospice Care in Bury St Edmunds today voiced their joy at being able to re-open the beds on Sylvan Ward where they were closed a year ago amid the economic crisis.

The hospice has declined to state how large the legacy was or who it came from, other than that it was from a male patient who died a few years ago.

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Barbara Gale, chief executive, said the reopening of the beds, which cost �100,000 each year to run, was the outcome of “both an amazing fundraising response from the community over the last year and a generous legacy donation which has helped our financial position”.

Work to recruit additional nursing staff is now underway and the beds will become available once that process is complete.

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There will soon be 10 beds available on the ward.

Mrs Gale said: “Since we told the community we had to shut beds, we've been touched by the responses to help. Support has come from all quarters and in all forms - from the media and council representatives to nursery schools and toddler groups.

“Community groups have organised fundraising events, individuals have set up regular donations, visited our shops, and supported our newspapers appeals and businesses have offered a number of sponsorship packages.

“We've also recently been blessed with a large legacy being bequeathed to us by a local man, whom the hospice had supported until he died a few years ago.

“We are not out of the woods yet, we still need to raise �10,000 a day from the general public, but thanks to people's support and kindness, today is a definitely a good day for everyone.”

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