A turf cutting ceremony has marked the start of an extension and refurbishment project that will help local charity Willen Hospice in their work to meet the needs of patients and their families.

A socially distanced ceremony was carried out earlier this week by Lead Nurse Anita Connolly who was accompanied by Chair of Trustees, Paul Davis, the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Cllr Mohammed Khan, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, George Anson, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Countess Howe and representatives from contractors SDC.

Taking place in the charity’s 40th anniversary year, the exciting new chapter for the Hospice has been made possible thanks to the generous legacy donations of Hospice supporters, who determined their gifts should be used to improve the Hospice for future generations. Additional funding for the £4M project has been donated by trusts and foundations, including local funders MK Community Foundation and the Jim Marshall Charitable Trust, who support the Hospice’s work.

Chief Executive, Peta Wilkinson, said, “This is a really exciting time for Willen Hospice, and for Milton Keynes as a whole. The legacy gifts we have been left are enabling us to invest in our local community and provide something that will benefit local people for years to come.

“The extension will create flexible spaces that we can use in a range of ways to suit our patients’ needs, and those of their families. It will allow us to care for a wider range of illnesses, and give us the opportunity to care for our patients much earlier in their palliative journey, rather than at the very end. We’re so proud to be part of the local community. This project will help us to continue to play an important role in the lives of so many more who will need our care so they can spend their time in a rich and meaningful way.”

Francis Shiner, Managing Director of SDC, the contractors carrying out the project for the Hospice, said, “We are honoured to be working for a charity that does such great work and affects so many lives. We hope that our contribution enhances the experiences of the patients in a positive way”.

Building is expected to take approximately a year with the new facilities opening in spring 2022.

To find out more visit www.willen-hospice.org.uk/buildingalegacy