A new cafe and community centre in the grounds of a Preston hospice has been officially launched.Advertisement
Supporters of St Catherine’s Hospice packed into The Mill a converted farm building.
£1 million has been invested by the Hospice through grant funding from the likes of the Department of Health in the new building.
Chairman of the Hospice Trustees, Cliff Hughes MBE, opened the launch party with a recognition the hospice was changing the way it operated.
He said: “We need to create a place for people to come into the Hospice grounds, enjoy a coffee and it’s not just for those who are having someone cared for at the hospice. This is a place to come and support the hospice no matter who you are.”
Preston notables former footballer turned TV pundit Mark Lawrenson and Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh were on hand to join in the celebrations.
Singh swapped the GMB studio for the confines of the Mill’s kitchen counter to serve up the first coffee.
She said: “There’s a real buzz about this place opening. I was talking to a friend who used to work at the hospice and she was saying how amazing it was going to be.
“This is a fantastic space and I really hope the people of Preston come out and support it.”
Lawrenson also dropped in for a latte to support the hospice, where his brother-in-law is being cared for.
He said: “Walking up I thought it looked like someone’s house!
“It’s a great place and I want to thank the hospice for everything they are doing, the staff and everyone here are just amazing.”
Guests also heard from Hospice chief executive Stephen Greenhalgh.
He said the hospice had to provide a different range of services to people as well as just care.
He said: “I was talking to a lady who had a member of her family cared for at a hospice. I asked her what had supported her through that tough time, and she said the local cafe.
“They had her coffee on the table each time as they knew she would be coming in, and sometimes they had a chat and other times they knew she just wanted her latte and to be left be.
“That’s what this place is about. It’s about providing that support, and everyone using the Mill is helping to support the work we do.”
As well as being a cafe there are also activity rooms within the building which can hold craft sessions and exercise classes.
Amanda Calwell, who runs the Peek-A-Brew cafe and craft centre in Leyland, will run classes at The Mill. She has seen both her grandmothers cared for at the hospice.
She said: “The Mill is a brilliant idea in lots of different ways.
“Not only is it offering somewhere else for local families to enjoy, it is opening up the whole hospice and grounds to the local area and saying ‘come on in’. It will give St Catherine’s even more of a presence in the community and will help put right some of the anxious misconceptions that people have.
“Speaking from experience, I think it will be great for families and loved ones to have somewhere to go for a little space, and patients too if they feel well enough and would like a change of scene.”
The Mill opens to the public on Monday 24 November and is open from 8am to 4pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on weekends.
You can view pictures and a video of the launch by clicking here.
When the Mill opens and if you pay a visit let us know what you think in the comments below