Patients, families and visitors at our Gloucestershire-based Leckhampton Court Hospice are enjoying more parts of the historic building and grounds than ever before – all thanks to a charitable donation from The Charles Irving Trust.
Our Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, which is just outside Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, provides palliative, neurological and bereavement support to almost 700 people every year.
It’s housed in one of the oldest buildings in Cheltenham: the 13th Century Grade II* Listed Leckhampton Court.
The hospice enjoys a natural lake to the front of its Day Hospice building and a Cotswold stone terrace to the side of its inpatient unit, giving stunning views across the Severn Valley to the Malverns and Welsh hills beyond.
"We want all our patients to be able to sit outside in the sun"
However, the uneven ground and surfaces have meant that for many years both areas have been difficult to access for patients and their families.
Thanks to a generous charitable donation from The Charles Irving Trust, the hospice has installed a brand new all-weather wheelchair-friendly walkway around the lake, and a new secluded seating area where patients can enjoy the lake and wildlife.
The Cotswold stone terrace has also undergone a complete refurbishment, with new railings and seating area, meaning patients and families can spend time outside together enjoying the views.
“We do all we can to make sure our hospice is a home from home for our patients and their families," explains our Hospice Director Elise Hoadley. "Our grounds play an important part in making patients, family and friends feel welcome and relaxed, allowing them to spend precious time together outdoors.
“We want our patients to be able to sit in the sun, smell the roses and lavender, listen to the birds, watch the ducks on our lake, spot the deer in the woods or see butterflies and squirrels among our beautiful grounds nestled in the foothills of the Cotswolds. However, access in and around the grounds of our Grade II* Listed manor house has sometimes been difficult for patients with reduced mobility," she continues.
“We’re thrilled that this generous donation from The Charles Irving Trust has helped us offer patients and families soothing, secluded areas in which to sit and enjoy time together: something we know plays an important role in improving their sense of wellbeing," Elise adds.
A beautiful place to create lasting memories
Cheltenham mum Rachel Murphy’s mother was cared for at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice and she holds fond memories of the time spent with her mother and her children in the hospice grounds.
“One memory that stands out for me is watching our two girls running on ahead around the lake at the hospice whilst my husband pushed Mum around in her wheelchair," she recalls. "The girls were picking flowers and bringing them back to my Mum with laughter and big smiles.
"Some of the last photos I have of my Mum are of us all sat together in the hospice grounds with her holding the flowers the girls had handpicked. It means so much to have my last memories with Mum being surrounded by love in such a beautiful place.”
Thank you, Charles Irving Trust
As a charity, the funds we raise are focused on providing our expert and compassionate care. It is only through special donations from organisations like The Charles Irving Trust that our hospices can make changes to their grounds or services to benefit local people and their families.
“Sir Charles was a strong supporter of Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court," says Jacky Lane, a trustee of The Charles Irving Charitable Trust. "We are delighted to have been able to facilitate the creation of the Woodland Walk and the refurbishment of the terrace, both named in his honour, which will serve as a lasting tribute to his memory.
"We hope the enhanced facilities will provide an improved experience for the patients and their visitors that they can enjoy for many years to come.”
Learn more about Leckhampton Court Hospice