Meet the team working on our new hospice!

New Hospice News News and Blog

We recently visited our new hospice and spoke to some of the contractors working on our new hospice. We asked them to tell us a little more about their roles and what they love most about working on the build.

We also caught up with Paul Rycroft, New Build Delivery and Collaboration Director, who told us why it is so important to create a positive, safe, and professional working environment for all our contractors on site.  

There seems to be a very positive feeling from all the contractors working on the building. Why do you think this is and has it been like this since the start of the project? 

This is not like your average build project. We have the advantage that hospices are generally well known. Even if the contractors don’t know the specifics, they know hospices are a good thing and that’s a great starting point to build a positive culture. Being present, providing clarity around funding, the standards required, and why we need the building to be the best it can be, all support a joint feeling of purpose and direction. That way they can deliver a space for us to provide expert end of life care long into the future. 

Our first two workers on site were Peter and John from a geotechnical survey firm way back in 2018. We made sure they knew just how important their work was in providing outstanding patient care and we’ve continued to take every opportunity since to keep all the contractors informed. This has included toolbox talks, videos, Christmas cards, social media posts, and many conversations around the site. 

There is obviously a very good working relationship between Barnes Construction and St Catherine’s. Can you tell us why you think this partnership is working so well? 

We are fortunate that Barnes have built hospices in the past. They understand that our new building is funded and supported by the community, so they have helped us with our community engagement. For them it means that a wide variety of people can appreciate their construction work, and we’ve been able to invite lots of visitors to site, whilst ensuring safety is not compromised. 

We also have a great team working on this project. Several of the project team have personal connections to palliative care, know why hospices are important, and understand how we need to engage the community in order to fund our operations. We have taken time to jointly consider how we can make the project the best it can be. Ultimately, we want everyone involved to be proud of the contribution they have made. Our contractors’ skills don’t include patient care but, in their own way, they have contributed to many years of expert care to come. 

Malthouse Road holds so many powerful memories and feelings. How are we going to ensure that the heart of St Catherine’s comes with us to Grace Holland Avenue?  

For 40 years St Catherine’s has been based at Malthouse Road and so rightly the connection is strong. However, the strength of feeling for our current hospice is due to the people who work, volunteer and visit us. Our new building provides a great space for our people to be the best they can be, but they will still be our people. 

Everyone has a different approach to change, and I’m pleased that we will have a range of activities to help people say goodbye to Malthouse Road and remember it when we move to Pease Pottage. Alongside memory books and ceremonies to take time out, we’ll build on our heritage by transferring many of the names associated with Malthouse Road into Grace Holland Avenue. We’ll also work with whoever takes possession of our existing site to ensure there is some fitting recognition. 

What are you most proud of with this build? 

There has been a certain element of stickability with this build. The pandemic had the potential to stop the whole project, but we have bounced back without losing the essence of providing an outstanding facility. The provision remains to provide personalised care, with the focus on the individual, and to have the necessary tools and support that is needed to operate our charity into future decades – that’s got to be a good thing. 

What are you most looking forward to? 

Seeing the building bustling with the host of activities that makes St Catherine’s so incredible. 

We’ve only been able to build our new home thanks to the continued loyalty and generosity of our incredible supporters. So, as the move fast approaches, we are offering you the chance to see our new, state-of-the-art facility firsthand. We will be opening our doors to the public for a series of guided tours and open visits, and you can book your space now here.