THE Echo is urging its army of readers to back a fundraising campaign to help deliver a new £15.4million adult hospice.

Fair Havens Hospice is building the new site in Priory Crescent, Southend, but the charity still needs £350,000 to make it happen.

So, backed by the Echo, it has launched its Power of a Pound campaign to ask residents across south Essex to all give just £1 to help the charity reach its final fundraising target and complete the build.

The new hospice, which is being built by Barnes Construction, is set to be open in Spring next year.

There will be 16 bedrooms and increased community services, and the new Fair Havens base will be able to care for twice as many patients who are facing end-of-life illnesses.

Hospice bosses say just £1 from everyone will do it.

Ellie Miller, director of care at Havens Hospices said: “We are so grateful for all the support we have received from the community since we launched our fundraising campaign.

“If every person from across South East Essex gave just £1, it really would help us complete the building of new Fair Havens and secure the future of hospice care.”

Sarah Franklin, a Fair Havens senior nursing assistant, visited the site just last week and said it was very emotional seeing it all take shape.

She said: “I cannot believe it, seeing the building made me cry.

“I only wish I could shake the hand of everyone who gave their time and raised such an incredible amount of money to build such an amazing building.”

South Essex MPs have also joined the £1 donation call - and urged everyone to do their bit.

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, said since the charity was established, residents have been very generous with their support over the years.

He said: “At the heart of this recent campaign to build a new hospice is the generosity of people, and while there have been many twists and turns on this journey, the end is now in sight and we need one last push to raise the outstanding sum.

“I know, from my own contacts, how many people value the hospice movement as a whole, and especially the army of volunteers who keep it functioning.

“Everyone connected to Havens is now rightly excited to see what the future will hold. The new hospice across the road will be so near to completion soon.

“Please give generously.”

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East said he’s also backing the fund-raising campaign.

He said: “The new hospice will care for twice as many adults with life-limiting illnesses and their families, so it is so important that we support the charity in whatever way we can.”

Echo editor, Chris Hatton, said: “Nobody should underestimate the importance of Havens hospices in south Essex. Staff and volunteers do the best job to give compassionate, dignified care to those who really need it.

“The hospice has been working tirelessly to generate new income for its new hospice. The target is in reach and we now hope our army of Echo readers – a very generous bunch – will donate £1 each to create an even better hospice for south Essex.

“Those who have been touched by the hospice know exactly how important it is. It’s now time for us all to recognise that and play our part in creating the hospice of the future.”

Families support call for £1 donations

FAMILIES whose loved ones have been cared for by the hospice say it’s more important than ever to get behind the charity.

Southend Standard:

Dawn and Alan Hart

They have joined the urgent calls for donations to smash the fundraising target for the new adult hospice.

Husband and wife Alan and Dawn Hart, who lived in Southend, were both cared for by Fair Havens Hospice.

Dawn was diagnosed with bowel cancer on New Year’s Eve in 2000. She was admitted to Fair Havens specifically for end-of-life care in late October 2001 and died on October 30, aged 64.

In 2015, Alan, was diagnosed with kidney failure, among other conditions.

Initially, a room was not available for him, but the family finally received that call saying they had a bed Alan and, in September 2018, he was admitted to Fair Havens.

Alan died at the hospice, in Chalkwell, aged 81 on September 19, 2018.

Their son Julian, 56, also from Southend, said he’s hoping the community will get behind the charity and help to get it over the final hurdle to raising the funds needed for the new hospice.

He said: “Over recent years it has become more apparent that many of us will be in need the specialist care and support that Fair Havens provides.

“This is why, now more than ever, it’s vitally important that we support them as they embark on the next exciting part of their journey. £1 can’t buy much nowadays, but it can secure the future of Fair Havens.

“I know, if I find myself requiring this type of care in the future, it’s the only place I would want to be, which says it all really.

“Fair Havens and hospice care had all been new to us with mum, but it was such a positive experience dad had always hoped he could be there too when he got ill. We knew he would be expertly cared for and was in the best place possible. The care and compassion both my parents were given extending through doctors, carers, nurses and maintenance chaps just demonstrated how much thought goes into their care. My parents were made to feel as if they were the only people being cared for - made to feel special.”

Our man Chris gets tour of new Havens

ECHO sports reporter Chris Phillips has run the London Marathon six times for the hospices - and raised £40,000 for the charity.

He was given a special tour of the new site last week.

Southend Standard:

He said: “As part of my Havens fundraising, I was lucky enough to be given a tour, and there is no doubt it will be a fantastic facility.

“Amazing work is done at the current Stuart House home but, in truth, it is no longer fit for purpose. There are not enough beds to cope with demand and people are turned away on a weekly basis.

“The corridors are too narrow, the bedrooms too small and there are little or no private areas for families to have time alone. However, the new site could not be more of an extreme.

“The sheer size of the buildings took me by surprise and it will enable so many more families to be cared for.

“Each room will has its own private garden and everything you can possibly think of will be provided – including a beautician’s and a bistro.

“I urge as many people as possible to help raise the remaining funds which are still required.”

How to donate

  • Call 01702 220305
  • Send a cheque to Havens Hospices, 47 Second Avenue, Westcliff, Essex SS0 8HX
  • Visit your nearest Havens charity shop
  • Arrange a fundraising event and charge £1 to take part
  • Take on a challenge and ask for £1 sponsorship
  • Visit the Havens Hospices Family Fun Day on September 15 at Priory Park
  • Click here