Sunflower Centre Refurbishment - East Cheshire Hospice

Sunflower Centre Refurbishment

A major project is under way to transform the Sunflower Wellbeing Centre at East Cheshire Hospice.

Work on the £1.25m refurbishment began last month and is expected to be completed in January 2024.

The modern stylish complex will be much better equipped to meet a rapidly growing need for the charity’s services.

A computer image of the new Sunflower Wellbeing Centre.

Patient and carer capacity is expected to more than double from a current weekly rate of 179 to 400 within two years of completion.

Crucially, more services will operate simultaneously and in the evenings and at weekends.

The extended seven-day working will facilitate greater community engagement, improving integration with the local healthcare strategy of everyone living well for longer.

The Sunflower Centre – the hub of the Hospice’s outpatient services – opened as a day care centre with the Hospice welcoming its first day patients in May 2000. The facility has been extended since but is now outdated and unable to meet demand.

Rachel Allcock, Income Generation Director at the Hospice, said: “The new Sunflower Wellbeing Centre will be a valuable resource for the community. We anticipate being able to accommodate local support groups and other community activities.

“It’s an exciting project and something we’ve wanted to carry out for a long time, but just haven’t been able to do.

“The previous centre served us well, but was no longer fit for purpose. We’ve saved money over time to fund the project, knowing that at some stage we wanted to undertake this work.

“We’ve also applied for specific grants and trust donations so that no income from fundraising which covers day-to-day running costs will be used.”

Rachel Allcock, Income Generation Director at East Cheshire Hospice.

The Sunflower entrance is located to the side of the main reception which is unaffected by the changes.

The radical new design was developed over three years, based on patient, staff and volunteer experiences.

The refurbishments have sustainability in mind, with running costs not expected to increase significantly since the operational floor space is only slightly extended.

The new-look Sunflower Wellbeing Centre.

Any increased heating costs due to extended opening hours will be partly offset by using more efficient heating/cooling systems and a solar-panelled roof.

The projected number of users excludes off-site programmes co-ordinated by the Sunflower team. It also excludes separate work to expand dementia services into community venues.

In total, the Hospice will reach an estimated 1,360 people, some 80 per cent of those living with, or dying from, a life-limiting illness.

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