All systems go for IPU extension
It's all systems go for the planned extension of the Stepping Stone Hospice's In-Patient Unit in New Market Park and if all goes according to plan, renovations to the 435sqm, second-hand park home can start at the end of October.
The combined efforts of Kim Scanell from Grayston Travel, Russell Cruickshank from Cornerstone Projects, Thersea Corrigan from SCS Architects, Francois du Plooy, a town and regional planner, and a fantastic team of sponsors and donors will see the In-Patient Unit extend from an 8-bed to a 14-bed unit.
When the call came from Kim that she wishes to donate a 435sqm, second-hand park home, previously used as offices, to the hospice, the team at Stepping Stone Hospice, accepted the offer without hesitation.
"Everything just seemed to have fallen in place from thereon," Tersia Burger, CEO at Stepping Stone Hospice explains. Russell Cruickshank from Cornerstone Projects has come on board to get this project going and to oversee the transformation of this dilapidated building into a first-class facility for our patients. He has committed his time and expertise to see the project through and to facilitate funding.
The move of the home from its current location in Steeledale to New Market Park, should be completed within the next three weeks. In the meantime, Thersea Corrigan and her team at SCS Architects are hard at work finalizing the layout of the unit as to facilitate the needs of the patients.
A presentation of the proposed plans was given to a group of businesspeople and individuals at a cocktail event held recently at Reading Country Club where the community once again demonstrated their willingness to reach out and help where help is needed. Le Roux Seegers from Waterways was just one of the many who raised his hand and undertook to only oversee the plumbing side of the renovation, but to get the plumbing supplies and labour sponsored.
The hospice opened its In-Patient Unit in October 2013, at the time offering 3 wards. With some serious fundraising efforts and especially from the hospice 947 Cycle Team, the unit was increased to 8 wards in 2015.
"Demand for our services, and especially a children's ward, has necessitated a further extension and whilst we explored several options, funding always remained a huge issue," says Tersia. Kim has lost close friends to cancer, all of them looked after by the staff at Stepping Stone Hospice. "So when it came to making a decision as to where the park home should go to, I had no hesitation in donating it to hospice," Kim says.
Caption: Attending the presentation of the planned IPU extension: f.l.t.r.: Willem Bronkhorst, LeRoux Seegers from Waterways, Amelda Scott, Valeria Seegers and Amelia Jelliman.