The UK’s first Cottage Hospice will be open in Five Ashes, it has been revealed today (Friday, February 26).
The Cottage Hospice will be run from the site where The Church of the Good Shepherd is currently located.
The Church of the Good Shepherd, owned by the Nicholson Trust, has a congregation of less than 20 and holds a fortnightly Sunday morning service. The church is a former First World War army officer’s hut and the first service was held there in 1921.
Rob Woolley, Chief Executive at Hospice in the Weald, said: “We are delighted that such a wonderful site has become available for the Cottage Hospice.
“Hospice in the Weald has always provided care and support for terminally ill patients, their families and carers across both West Kent and East Sussex.
“By building the Cottage Hospice in Five Ashes, we know that we will be able to see even more people and support them at such a difficult time in their lives.”
The 10-bedroom Cottage Hospice is intended as a community hub, with drop-in day activity facilities for patients as well as ground-breaking training courses to teach families and carers the skills to look after their loved ones.
The new Cottage Hospice is expected to open its doors in 2017.
The Cottage Hospice will include a chapel incorporating the original stained glass windows from The Church of the Good Shepherd and ensure that the legacy of the church and its unique pastoral and spiritual heart is kept alight.
It is intended that the beautiful chapel space will have an altar and seating for at least 20 people.
All of the space in the Cottage Hospice will be multi-functional including moveable walls and stackable chairs so that each space can be tailored to a specific purpose, whether that be directly supporting patients, or providing further training for families and carers in end of life care needs.
Mr Charles Marshall from The Nicholson Trust said: “We share a strong belief with the Hospice in the Weald in the value of the Cottage Hospice to meet the needs of our local communities, while ensuring that there is a beautiful and practical place of worship in Five Ashes for succeeding generations.”
Mr Woolley added: “We are passionate about making the remaining time for patients as fulfilled and comfortable as it can be.
“We believe Cottage Hospices, based at the heart of their local community, are the way forward and an innovative way of not only providing more options for patients, families and carers but also for ensuring the Hospice Philosophy of Care is understood and embedded.”
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