The Helen McArdle Wing was officially opened on Friday 28 June by Sue Snowdon, Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham, at a ceremony attended by Mrs McArdle.
Each of the six new en-suite bedrooms are equipped for all needs, as well as being designed to ensure rest and relaxation. Rooms have their own private balcony and patients have access to a large luxurious spa bathroom. The redevelopment also included the refurbishment of the Sir Tom Cowie Centre, which was which was made possible by the support of local businesses and members of the community.
Paul Jackson, chairman of Willow Burn Hospice, said: “Staff and volunteers are very excited about the new hospice wing and the opportunity to work in such a specialised facility.
“The new facilities and addition of two beds, means that we are able to care for more people and provide much-improved family support and bereavement services.”
Helen McArdle CBE, who opened her first care home in the area over 30 years ago, and has become the first patron of the hospice, said: “I am extremely proud to be supporting such a wonderful organisation as it sets out on a journey that will change the face of care in the Derwentside area.
“The passion, enthusiasm and commitment of the staff at Willow Burn is outstanding and I am delighted to have had this opportunity to give back to the local community and say thank you.”
Willow Burn Hospice first opened its doors in 1989 when Irene Mortimer and Valerie Davison decided to start providing palliative and end of life care services.
Sue Snowdon said: “It was a great privilege to be asked to open the wing, which provides excellent in-patient care facilities and will meet and support those with life-limiting illnesses.”