You did it! St Michael’s hospice has risen from the ashes to soar like a Phoenix

Just a few months after the devastating fire at St Michael’s hospice the generosity and hard work of hundreds of people has come to the fore after it was announced that the £1m Phoenix Appeal target has been reached.

Making the announcement was Celia Pike-Lees, Chief Executive St Michael’s Hospice. She said she is “very pleased” to announce the total money pledged towards the Phoenix Appeal, launched at the beginning of the year to help fund the re-building of the hospice following the fire, has reached the £1m target. She added: “This tremendous result reflects the importance of St Michael’s Hospice to the local community, and the generosity of a wide range of individual donors and grant giving trusts.”

The shock of the fire last July reverberated throughout the country. It was an unthinkable thing to have happened in such a place of sanctuary and care, but in the face of adversity, in true Great British spirit, hospice staff, volunteers and the community pulled out all the stops to make the hospice fit for the future.

Celia says the past year has been tough but the support of local people and organisations has been tremendous and made such a big difference. “It has helped us both to continue to provide our specialist palliative care to people with life-limiting illnesses across Hastings and Rother and also, through the Phoenix Appeal, to renovate the Hospice so that it can be a great asset to our community for years to come.

“We are truly grateful and could not have achieved it without the generosity of so many.”

The newly refurbished Hospice is set to re-open to in-patients and clinical staff on Monday, September 5.

The Observer Series has been honoured to support the Phoenix Appeal and Editor in Chief Gary Shipton says he is delighted that St Michael’s Hospice has reached its £1m Phoenix Appeal target and can now look to the future.

“To have raised £1m in less than a year is a fantastic achievement and testament to the generosity of the organisations, businesses and the local community - many of whom excelled themselves with a vast range of fundraising ideas and events,” he said.

“This is a truly wonderful result and the Observer has been proud to sponsor the appeal and to support a charity that is vital to our local community.”

Recently the Hospice invited members of the public, supporters and volunteers on guided tours to see the changes and improvements made to the building in the past year.

Visitors were taken through the reception/café area, along the ground floor in-patient ward, to an in-patient bedroom, highlighting features such as the low level lighting, flat screen wall-mounted TV, fridge and the calming colour palette and artwork. All bedrooms are ensuite, with a number of bedrooms also benefitting from hoists, allowing quick and easy movement to patients.

Visitors were impressed with what they saw. Comments included: “Absolutely brilliant. The hard work and dedication of all involved to achieve all of this, and have staff and patients back in 14 months, is outstanding.”

Another said: “The new Hospice looks like it has been well thought out and flows well – it must be the best in the country!”

Visit www.facebook.com/stmichaelshospice