Weston Hospicecare's grant is one of the largest of the 123 grants made
A local hospice is celebrating after winning a £547,000 grant from the Department of Health (DoH).
Weston Hospicecare, in North Somerset, will use the money to "dramatically improve [its] ambience and environment" for patients and their families.
The grant is one of the largest made as part of a £40m DoH programme for adult hospices in the UK.
It will pay for improvements including better access for less mobile patients and creating a secure enclosed garden.
Other improvements include improved visiting areas for families and a "ground-breaking makeover" of the main hospice gardens, to include a therapeutic labyrinth, which is unique in the UK.
ABOUT WESTON HOSPICECARE
Weston Hospicecare provides free specialist palliative care to local people
It covers Weston-super-Mare, Cheddar, Burnham on Sea and the surrounding areas
Weston Hospicecare will help more than 1,000 patients and their families in 2010 alone
Patients at the hospice include adults of all ages, with a range of life-limiting conditions including cancer, Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinson's Disease
It will cost around £3m to run the hospice in 2010
Weston Hospicecare relies on the support of the local community to generate around £2m every year towards its running costs
Gill Blackshaw from Weston Hospicecare said "Without this funding we would never have been able to afford to make these improvements.
"It is essential that our facilities at the hospice meet their needs and we feel that the planned improvements will make a real and lasting difference to the facilities and support we can offer our patients and to the quality of their experience here.
"We are very excited and work will begin on the improvements as soon as possible, with the aim of completing the work early in the autumn."
The funds from the DoH are specifically to pay for improvements to the hospice building and grounds and do not contribute towards the costs of running day to day patients services.
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