St Peter's Hospice Garden Room open for patients to enjoy

PSS building now openA much-anticipated extension of St Peter’s Hospice in Brentry has been officially opened at a special event attended by local dignitaries, staff, supporters and patients.

The newly built Garden Rooms will be home to the Psychological, Social and Spiritual (PSS) team at the hospice and will provide a relaxing space for patients to enjoy.

Opened at a special ceremony by the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol Mary Prior, the building will allow hospice staff to provide more creative therapies including music and art therapy. It will also provide a space for group bereavement work which many family members find beneficial after losing a loved one.

The oak-framed structure features large windows to allow lots of natural light in and to allow patients to look out on to the award-winning landscaped gardens at the hospice. Costing around £500,000 the building has been built thanks to a Department of Health grant and has been under construction since late last year.

Also present at the grand opening was Bristol’s new Lord Mayor Alistair Watson and local MP Charlotte Leslie.

St Peter’s Hospice CEO Simon Caraffi explains what the new building will mean to the hospice:

“This building means an awful lot to everybody at the hospice. This is the first time the PSS team have had their own purpose-built space and it will make such a difference to the work they do every day.

“The design of the building has been carefully planned to maximise peace and relaxation for patients and we’re really looking forward to being able to offer even more complementary therapies to not only patients but their families who are often under an awful lot of stress too.

“This building represents the biggest expansion to the hospice in many years so we’re extremely grateful for the DoH grant which allowed us to complete it, as well as the wonderful supporters who give generously to the hospice every year.

“As Bristol’s only adult hospice we are very aware of how important the services we provide are to the community and we’re very proud to be able to offer this fantastic new facility to those with life limiting illnesses in the area.”

The PSS team works with patients, families and carers who may be struggling to cope with the challenges of serious illness. While the social workers on the team provide advice on care at home, statutory rights and benefits available, the spiritual care team helps people explore questions of meaning and purpose sometimes including aspects of religion and faith.

The team also provides therapies such as music and art which can help people express their feelings and can be a great way for families to spend some creative time together.

Elaine Browning, bereavement coordinator at St Peter’s Hospice will be using the space to help patients come to terms with their illness and counsel families who have lost a loved one. She said: “We want to create a safe and supportive environment for those grieving so that we can help them find a way forward with the rest of their lives.

“Some friends and family members find it very difficult to re-enter the hospice after having lost someone there, so the fact that this building is a little bit removed will make it so much easier for them.

“It’s going to be a very calm space for us to do our work and I just can’t wait to get started.”

If you would like to see the gardens for yourself, the hospice is taking part in the national Open Garden Scheme and will be open to the public on Sunday 6 July.

As Bristol’s only adult hospice, St Peter’s Hospice cares for more than 2,489 patients each year as well as supporting family members.

All services are provided free of charge but this care costs around £18,000 a day. For around £14,000 of that, the hospice relies on gifts in wills, kind donations and funds generated by the hospice shops.

For more information about St Peter’s Hospice please visit www.stpetershospice.org

 

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