After 65 weeks, construction of the new Fair Havens Hospice building, Southend’s only adult hospice has reached completion, officially marked with the laying of a time capsule in the grounds at Priory Crescent in Prittlewell.
The new £17.2 million facility was officially handed over on Friday 28th February attended by members of the construction team and staff of Fair Havens Hospice.
LSI Architects designed the new building, which provides a modern hospice with 16 in-patient bedrooms, increased Day Hospice services and additional family support. This means it can care for twice as many patients and families, and offer more treatments, in a welcoming and therapeutic environment. Barnes Construction were the main contractor for the project.
Steven Smith, Chief Executive of Havens Hospices commented, “This new adult hospice for Southend has been many years in the planning. However, thanks to Barnes Construction they were able to bring the plans to life in just 15 months along with LSI Architects, and Studio 31.
“It’s an honour to be here marking this occasion by burying a time capsule which not only contains memories of our past hospice care but our hopes for the future.”
Louise Knights, Associate at LSI, said, “Fair Havens has been designed to be a welcoming place, creating a calming and therapeutic environment with a strong connection into the gardens.
“The new building embraces the Fair Havens values and by designing it with the charity’s team we have created something they can be proud of, that enables them to give their patients the care that they need.”
The time capsule – which will be situated in the grounds marked by the original stained glass lighthouse from the previous building – contains hundreds of messages from supporters who made a donation during the fundraising appeal, as well as photos and a signed copy of the plans from the construction team. A special message that was included came from Pearl Naylor MBE, the charity’s longest serving volunteer. Pearl, 94 from Southend, began volunteering before the original Fair Havens opened.
Pearl, who will continue volunteering at the new building in Prittlewell, said, “I started off doing table top sales to raise money, and on my last day at the old hospice on Chalkwell Avenue I swept the floors and said goodbye to the building.
“I feel lucky to be a part of Fair Havens, and to be a part of this ceremony. I hope that the new hospice continues making every day count for our patients and families. This is a new era and a new start for us all.”
Photo: Warren Page