A hospice for families facing terminal illness has received a "staggering" £2 million donation to develop a brand new Wellbeing Centre and "build for the future."

Ellenor Hospice is a charity that provides hospice care for both adults and children in Bexely and in north and west Kent in Gravesend, Dartford and Swanley.

The hospice was set up in 1990 in Northfleet, but CEO Vikki Harding warned that with "demand for our services ever increasing, we've reached a point where our facilities are restricting us from providing outstanding care."

Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust, a trust supporting charitable causes in Kent, has responded by donating £2 million to ellenor so it can move forward with extending and redeveloping its hospice building.

In 2019, the trust donated the land the hospice was built on to the ellenor, and Ms Harding said they were "so grateful" for the support.

The CEO said the funding and redevelopment of the hospice building would help them meet the needs of the local community "now and in the future."

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The charity wants to improve the entire building, adding single en-suite rooms, an enhanced cafe and community space area, landscaped gardens and more.

The wider space will mean they will be able to run activities more accessible for those using wheelchairs or other mobility equipment, and will enable greater opportunity to blend younger and older patients in a safe space.

Ellenor states that the new Wellbeing Centre will be "at the heart of supporting patients to improve their quality of life, as well as feeling more empowered in their and making the most of the time they have left."

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To complete the full redevelopment, the hospice needs to raise £4.9 million.

Jacqueline Rae, cheif executive of Colyer-Fergusson Trust, said they wanted to celebrate the trust's 50th Anniversary by giving grants to good causes, "and ellenor is a very special cause to us."

"A crucial part of ellenor’s work is to provide holistic care; enabling patients to be able to live as well as they can for as long as they can by offering physical, emotional and spiritual support.

"This funding will help ellenor create a bright and spacious Wellbeing Centre, offering a broader range of therapeutic activities, tailored to patient needs.”

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Ellenor has also now announced it is expanding its Living Well programme, a 12-week scheme for patients facing life-limiting and terminal illness, following a rise in demand.

The programme allows these patients to access exciting groups, classes and social support, and has been designed to put patients in charge of their own care and treatment.

"The new Living Well service at ellenor has encouraged our patients to really think about what matters to them and how they want to spend their time living life to the fullest," said Andrew Lowden, a senior physiotherapist at ellenor.

"We help each patient to set themselves a goal to achieve in the 12-week period, which enables them to focus on particular aspects of their life.

"Whatever that may be, our entire team is focussed on helping that individual achieve it, so they are empowered to be able to do more independently.”