Ashgate Hospicecare is proud to have opened their ‘Harry Fisher Building’ following a period of crucial renovation works during the last few months.
Since opening its doors in 1988, the Hospice has helped thousands of patients and their families to spend precious moments together at such a critical time in their lives. However, two years ago, Ashgate was given the news that the older part of the building had significant structural weaknesses and was quickly and severely deteriorating. The survey, conducted in 2014, concluded that without intervention, the building would become uninhabitable.
Lucy Nickson, Chief Executive of Ashgate Hospicecare, said “We decided to have the survey done due to the age of the building. Despite the shocking report coming back that the building was very quickly deteriorating, the potential to make good use of it could be seen, especially to turn what was being used as storage and other wasted space into areas that could be used for counselling and family support. The only big issue at the time was having the money to be able to carry out the work that was required.”
In 2015, after a series of fortuitous events and at such a crucial time, Ashgate Hospicecare was given the opportunity to give patients and their families the additional privacy and dignity they needed thanks to the unbelievably generous gift in the Will of the late Harry Fisher.
Lucy added, “Without the amazing gift from Harry Fisher, we would have been left with a building that was unfit for purpose and a complete lack of space for patient and family support services. Harry las left a truly amazing legacy to the people of North Derbyshire.”
Following a robust tender process, H A Briddon were chosen to complete the building work and as chance would have it, they had a connection with the late Harry Fisher of their own. Harry Briddon, who was responsible for the renovation, is a sailor at Ogston Sailing Club where Harry Fisher had been President of the club for over 30 years.
Ashgate House has been a significant part of Ashgate Hospicecare’s history and has been an iconic local landmark that has grown to mean so much to so many people. Seven months later, now the Harry Fisher Building, a sense of community is even more evident.
The hospice now offers more facilities for families including a new restaurant and dining room, which will create a relaxing and tranquil surrounding to benefit patients, staff and visitors, as well as facilities to provide fresh, hot meals. There is now new counselling and bereavement therapy rooms which will provide support within a purpose-built dedicated counselling area, including an art therapy room. These will all have an immediate positive impact on the number of people the hospice can support at any one time. A new alternative entrance has also been built, ensuring families returning for bereavement counselling and support will no longer have to enter the Hospice through the same doors as when visiting their loved ones and walk past patient bedrooms.
However, there is still a need for funds to ensure that this project can be fully completed, totaling £250,000. If you would like more information into how you could help, please visit- https://www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk/.