It’s an exciting time for Mary Potter Hospice as it goes about creating a community hospice hub in Porirua to support patients and their whanau from Khandallah to Pukerua Bay.
Philippa Sellens, Director Fundraising Marketing and Communications says Mary Potter Hospice is celebrating its 40th year of providing free-of-charge palliative care services for the Wellington Region from Miramar to Te Horo.
“For a long time, we’ve wanted to have a better presence in Porirua to look after our many families in the heart of our area,” says Philippa.
The team found a property in Rānui Heights which they’ve purchased and started renovating but with a $1 million price tag to complete the renovation, Mary Potter is hard at work fundraising.
“It’s all hands to the pump to raise the money but we’re confident the community will get behind us.
“We’ve had incredible support from the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust who have granted us $100,000. Other charitable trusts have also helped and currently we’ve got about $350,000 in the pot. We’re approaching other grant funders and individuals for further contributions and we’re confident we’ll get the support.”
So far Mary Potter has renovated a small office space for its staff to work from and are temporarily operating a day unit for patients from the Elim Church Hall in Porirua until they complete the renovations.
“Ngāti Toa have gifted us a name, Te Whare Rānui, which means house of light and warmth. It is the Hospice’s vision that people have a wonderful warm experience when they visit. This is a place of special significance for Māori and we’re honoured they have gifted us the name.”
With fundraising, planning and the building consents process ahead of them Philippa says work won’t start for several months but will be worth the wait.
“It will be fantastic. We’ll have spaces for community clinics, day visits, bereavement counselling seminars, education, room for the day unit, and nice office space for our staff as well.”
Philippa says it’s been a stroke of amazing luck to get the $100,000 from the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust.
“It will make a huge difference to what we can achieve, it takes a lot of pressure off going forward and helps when we approach other funders who want to know that were not relying on them solely and that there’s other support.
“The Trust has been amazing to work with and we were so excited when we heard that the money was being made available to us, we’re very grateful,” says Philippa.
Mary Potter Hospice looks after approximately 900 patients every year and most of those stay at home surrounded by friends and family, with community teams going out to visit them in their own homes. They also have an inpatient unit for 12 people in Newtown.
“About a third of people who die each year in our area get support from us and we are honoured to provide a service to them.”