We’d like to share some important news about the Hospice with you. Here is a special message from our Chief Executive, Dr Karen Clarke.

Our Upper Maze Hill site is much-loved by many. But parts of the Hospice building are now over 160 years old and whilst the building is safe, and patient comfort is prioritised, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to create the environment we want and need for patients, their families and friends, the wider community, and our workforce.

Alongside this, we’re seeing an increase in demand for our services. People are living longer and some with lots of complex, long-term conditions. To make sure we meet these needs now, and in the future, our Board of Trustees has decided we will build a new St Michael’s Hospice.

We understand how much our current building and gardens mean to people. We’re committed to talking with and listening to as many people across our community as possible during this project. We want to understand what matters to people and put that at the heart of the new building design. We’re at the very early stages right now. We’re exploring the potential of our current site with an architect to understand what might be possible. And we’ve shared our plans with the local councils, so if they present us with another site that is suitable, we will consider it.

We know this news may raise some questions, particularly from those people who have the ashes of family or friends laid to rest within the Hospice gardens. We’ve made every effort to contact the next of kin or anyone associated with the interments, but if you haven’t heard from us and would like to discuss interments, please contact us.

In the months and years to come there will be a lot of work to do and funds to raise. Realistically we think we’ll be in the new hospice by Spring 2030. We are committed to continuing to offer our full range of services throughout the whole of the project. We have always known that one day we would need to make a significant investment in our building and have protected financial reserves to start the project but, we expect we’ll need to raise at least £10million. That’s in addition to the millions we must raise each year to keep our services running.

In creating this new building with you, we will create a lasting legacy that will serve the community of Hastings and Rother long into the future. We know it will take massive amounts of hard work, determination, and love to realise this project. We can achieve it together. With support from our fantastic team, loyal supporters, new friends, and local community we believe it is possible.

We are setting out to create an environment fit for the future. One that allows us to expand and develop our services, so we can reach everyone who needs our support. We want to provide patients and those closest to them with an environment that is beautiful, comforting, welcoming and truly supports them to live well with dying, death, and loss. It will be a space that will enable us to do our best work for and with you. It will be a building fit for our collective future – our future hospice.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Karen Clarke
Chief Executive

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