The new look Sunflower Living Well Centre at East Cheshire Hospice - East Cheshire Hospice

The new look Sunflower Living Well Centre at East Cheshire Hospice

The new look Sunflower Living Well Centre at East Cheshire Hospice has welcomed its first patients.

The facility has undergone a major transformation to become one of the most modern healthcare centres in the region.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire Lady Alexis Redmond MBE officially declared the centre open after a nine-month building project costing £1.3m.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire Lady Alexis Redmond MBE cuts the ribbon to reopen the Sunflower Living Well Centre.

There to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony were long-standing Hospice supporters Anna Rains, Thelma Jackson and Madge Slater whose fundraising exploits created the original Sunflower Centre in 2000.

The new complex on the same site adjoining the main Hospice building is equipped to meet a rapidly growing need for the Hospice’s services.

Patient and carer capacity will eventually more than double from a weekly rate of 179 to 400.

More services can now operate simultaneously and during evenings and weekends.

The new design in dementia-friendly colours allows natural light to flood the main room. Smart technology is also incorporated.

The interior of the new centre.

The work was funded by significant grants from The Hargreaves Charitable Trust, The Mather Family Charitable Trust, The Wolfson Foundation and Garfield Weston. The balance was met from the charity’s reserves.

Guests included Robbie Hargreaves, co-founder of Proseal UK which provided funds for a new Hospice wing opened three years ago, and patrons, trustees, ambassadors, vice presidents and volunteers.

Contractors celebrated the opening with staff, including project manager Mike Drew.

Chief Executive Karyn Johnston said: “This is an important day in the history of East Cheshire Hospice.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported us to make today a reality, enabling us to extend and develop our care to anyone, anywhere and anytime they need it.

The entrance to the new look Sunflower Living Well Centre.

“We’re delighted Lady Redmond, a fervent supporter of the Hospice movement, can be with us today, along with her husband Sir Phil Redmond, and our donors without whom this building would not have been possible.

“Our staff are the best team any organisation could ever hope to have.”

Lady Redmond said: “This is such a special place and I congratulate you all. The aim of the new centre is to be at the heart of the hospice’s commitment to making sure those with life-limiting illnesses are supported to live as well as possible right from the point of diagnosis.”

The Northern Chamber Orchestra, sponsored by CDL Software, entertained guests with a demonstration of Mind Music, a project exploring the effects of live music on those living with dementia.

Helen Trueman, CDL’s Internal Communications Manager, said: “We were delighted to sponsor the Northern Chamber Orchestra to play at the opening of the Sunflower Living Well Centre, and to be part of celebrating the addition of this wonderful resource for the community.

“CDL has a long-standing relationship with the orchestra who work to widen access to live classical music in a range of settings, including care homes, schools and in this case, by bringing through their ‘mind music’ initiative to East Cheshire Hospice. Congratulations to all involved.”

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