Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has this week launched an Emergency Hospice Repair Appeal, calling for support to help them ‘Raise the Roof’
The charities annual buildings survey has this year showed that the roof of its Selly Oak based Inpatient Unit has deteriorated so badly that a completely new roof needs to be in place before next winter, at a cost of £260,000, in order to future proof its crucial services.
Rachel Shuttleworth, Deputy Matron at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice said “It’s the worst possible timing, just as we’re coming out of a pandemic, the most difficult time in over 40 years of looking after local people. But we’ve been told quite clearly that unless we completely replace the roof this summer, we may have to close some of all of our Inpatient Unit bedrooms when the bad weather returns next year.”
The Hospice Inpatient Unit was built in the late 1970s and no longer keeps in the heat needed to ensure patients and their families are warm and dry during their stays. Staff have become accustomed to using portable radiators and putting out the odd bucket in corridors and stairwells after heavy rain.
Katy O’Sullivan, Head of Philanthropy at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice said “So far, the deteriorating roof hasn’t affected patient or family areas, and it has never impacted the excellent care that is given to local people, but we can’t make do anymore.”
The Hospice, which cares for more than 500 people living with life-limiting illnesses every day across Birmingham and Sandwell has faced a difficult year with the cancellation of all of its fundraising events and the closure of its 16 charity shops due to the pandemic.
Katy added “It costs over £8.1million every year to fund our vital services with over 60% of this coming from voluntary donations. The fact we’ve made it through Covid-19 so far is simply down to the support we’ve received from our incredible supporters. And so we’re reaching out to our community once more, in this emergency.”
The roof will cost £13.50 per square foot and will mean that the Hospice can put away the buckets for good and continue to do what they do best, provide expert care and support for people living with life-limiting illness and for their families and loved ones.