PEOPLE from across the region will benefit from the expansion of a hospice, but donations are still needed to secure the future of their vital services.

On Tuesday, the St David’s Hospice Care had their official opening of their £5 million, 15-bed inpatient unit at its Blackett Avenue, Malpas, base.

The hospice has been able to expand thanks to the generosity of the public, but as their services are increasing demand they will need to raise more money to ensure everyone has access to the hospice.

Emma Saysell, chief executive and director of nursing at the hospice, said: “Every contribution, however large or small, we put to good use and we make sure that as much money as possible goes directly to patient care.

“Most hospices rely heavily on the local community, and St David’s Hospice Care is no different. It is owned by the community because they are the people who keep us going. We do get some NHS funding, but 75 per cent of what it costs to run the hospice is raised locally.

“Fundraising is quite hard, but they continue and raise money in the most innovative ways. People are often doing it because they have been touched personally by our service and they want to give something back and ensure that the experience they had at St David’s can be replaced to many more people in the future.

“I also think when people have lost someone it can give them some comfort in knowing they are doing some good for others. I haven’t got words to express our deep gratitude.”

At the opening of the new facility she said: “Our care depends on ongoing support from our local community. We hope they will continue to support us in the future so we can provide the very best hospice and end of life care.”

She told the Argus: “Through all the generous donations we have managed to extend our patient care over the past few years.

“Our hospice at home service is ever growing, but with all these things, as costs go up we have to raise more money.

“All costs are increasing and that has a knock on effect on us also. It is a concern for us that we can continue to raise those funds in years to come because we know that it’s potentially going to be harder, and our services will be needed by more people so the expenditure is going to go up.”

Mrs Saysell added: “We are indebted to people and yesterday showed me that we have an amazing group of people who have been with us from the start, and that our fundraisers are amazing.

“We have a fantastically loyal group of fundraisers who do everything from tea parties, coffee mornings, fetes, to events and doing treks. Even the people who volunteer in our shops, there are many different forms of donating, and the impact that has on patient care is amazing.

“We don’t have words to express how grateful we are.”