Northern Ireland Hospice has reached a major milestone in its journey to rebuild the adult Hospice in Belfast, with construction of the new state-of-the-art £13m facility entering the next phase of development.
Guests including the Lord Mayor of Belfast Nichola Mallon and supporters of the charity gathered today (Wednesday 12th November) to take part in a ceremonial bricklaying at the site of the new adult hospice on Somerton Road, North Belfast.
Construction work on the new adult hospice began in March 2014 with the demolition of unwanted structures. Since then, the building’s basement has been installed, its foundations have been laid and the steel structure has been erected. The first bricks are now being laid, with construction a third of the way towards completion.
The ground-breaking new adult hospice, which is due to open its doors in late 2015, has been designed to meet the end of life care needs for the next generation and will be the first dementia friendly hospice in the UK and Ireland.
Approximatively 51,000 tonnes of concrete, excavated material and stones as well as 550 tonnes of steel will be used to create the new adult hospice at Somerton Road.
Northern Ireland Hospice chief executive, Professor Dame Judith Hill said: “Today marks the next major milestone in the Northern Ireland Hospice rebuild project. I am delighted with the dedication from the construction team to help us reach this significant stage.
“Through this building, we are making preparations that will enable us to provide end of life care for the aging population in Northern Ireland, as well as those that have complex needs, including those suffering from non-malignant diseases such as heart disease, severe respiratory and neurological illnesses.
“Of course, we would never have reached this stage without our invaluable fundraisers and I would like to say a massive thank you to all of our supporters, from individuals and charitable trusts to corporate sponsors and the government. We are very grateful for their support and hope their generosity will continue so we can get the new hospice up-and-running, and have the facilities we need to deliver first class care to patients and families that need our help.”
Northern Ireland Hospice still needs to raise £2 million to complete the rebuild and is calling on the public’s support. Individual donators can support the Hospice’s new fundraising appeal by sponsoring a light on its Christmas tree, which will be erected on the site of the new adult hospice. Corporate organisations can also support the charity through its sponsorship scheme.
Once completed, the new hospice will provide 18 modern single en-suite rooms, a Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy facility, a Day Hospice, an Outpatient Clinic and an Education and Research centre which will support the advancement of hospice care in Northern Ireland. The plans will also incorporate gardens, a children and relatives area, a sanctuary and a Chaplain’s room where patients and families can relax together.
For further information or to make a donation visit www.nihospice.org or call the fundraising team on 028 9078 1836.