South East Essex MPs Visit Region’s New Hospice

On Friday 13th September, South East Essex’s four MPs visited the region’s new hospice site and pledged their support for the Havens Hospices charity’s final fundraising campaign to get the building finished.

Sir David Amess MP for Southend West; James Duddridge MP for Rochford and Southend East; Rt Hon Mark Francois MP for Rayleigh and Wickford and Rebecca Harris MP for Castle Point joined Havens Hospices’ new CEO, Steve Smith, for a tour of the new Fair Havens Hospice which the charity is building opposite Priory Park in Southend.

The new purpose-built facility, which is set to open in March 2020, will be able to care for twice as many patients from across Southend, Rochford, Rayleigh and Castle Point. On their exclusive tour of the site, the four Members of Parliament learnt why both their own and their constituents’ support is so vitally important in securing hospice care for today and the future.

While on site, the MPs heard more about the charity’s final fundraising push, which they launched in August, called ‘Power of a Pound’ because if everyone in the South East Essex area gave just £1, it would reach its fundraising target to complete the build

Sir David Amess said, “We were all here for the breaking of the ground last October and it is so wonderful to see how fast it is going up. The new Fair Havens Hospice will make such a difference to not just the people of Southend, but the whole of South East Essex. I am very happy to pledge my support to Havens Hospices’ final fundraising push and hope my constituency will really get behind it too.”

Rt Hon Mark Francois added, “The work that Havens Hospices does for the community of South East Essex is absolutely vital and it is incredible to think that in around six months’ time this fantastic new facility will be open and caring for more people from across the region. But they cannot do it without the support of their community, so I urge the people of Rayleigh and Wickford to support the new Fair Havens and donate to the Power of a Pound campaign.”

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East said, “I have every faith that my constituents and my colleagues’ constituents will get involved in helping Havens Hospices reach their final target for the building. Whether you simply donate £1 or you organise your own fundraising event with friends and family to help raise funds, you’ll be making a huge difference. Earlier this year I joined ‘Team Havens’ at the London Marathon and I had the most fantastic experience, while helping them to raise much needed funds to continue caring for families across Essex – so I can highly recommend joining the charity at an event and fundraising that way.”

Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point agreed, “It is amazing that just £1 could make all the difference in securing this fantastic service for the region. It isn’t a huge amount of money, but it will make a huge impact on the lives of families, friends, neighbours and colleagues throughout the community. I really look forward to hearing all the fabulous ways that my constituents help to unleash the ‘Power of a Pound’ for Havens Hospices.”

During the tour, Steve Smith explained how the new building will enable closer working partnerships with other local services. He said, “As part of our continued promise to patients and families, the new Fair Havens building is very much focused on how we can care for as many people in the community as possible. This has included making sure our therapy rooms and community spaces are flexible and we are currently working with the local CCGs to develop a closer working partnership with them and other services to improve the access to and experience for patients from across the region and provide quality services focused around their needs in a comfortable and less clinical environment

He added, “I would like to thank Sir David, Mark, James and Rebecca for joining me onsite and for their continued support and backing for our ‘Power of a Pound’ campaign. Together, they are helping Havens Hospices continue ‘Making every day count’ for everyone who needs us now and in the future.”

There are plenty of ways for the local community to get involved and help Havens Hospices secure the future of hospice care for Southend, Rochford and Castle Point. From simply popping into your local charity shop or going online to donate £1 to organising your own fundraising event either at home, at school, with your sports team or club or with work colleagues. For more information how you can help Havens Hospices raise the final funds needed to finish building the new Fair Havens, including a downloadable donation card, please visit our website [https://www.havenshospices.org.uk/powerofapound].

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