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North London Hospice opens its doors in Winchmore Hill
A new hospice with enough facilities to care for 500 people suffering with life-limiting illnesses opened in Winchmore Hill yesterday.
After five years in the making, patients started arriving at North London Hospice day centre in Barrowell Green yesterday.
The day centre, which includes treatment rooms, a day room and a cafe, provides free services for patients living in Enfield, Haringey and Barnet by relying largely on public donations.
The current centre in Finchley, which will remain open, has the facilities to help about 150 people at one time.
At this stage, the centre is open for one day a week – every Thursday – but will gradually work towards opening five days a week once more funding is sourced.
Thanks to fundraising from the community, £3.8million has been raised to build the hospice in the borough. The money will allow the centre to expand its opening to three days a week within the coming months.
However, North London Hospice still needs to raise a further £300,000 over the next three years to enable the centre to open every week day.
Patient Eleni Robb, who lives in Edmonton, was able to enjoy the first art therapy and relaxation sessions in the building yesterday.
The 76-year-old said: “The new centre is going to make a huge difference to my life and I will be able to receive day care closer to home.
“I love art so I’m really looking forward to being able to take part in sessions and learn new things. It is an opportunity for me to be more independent and meet people in a similar situation to me."
North London Hospice chief executive Douglas Bennett said: “It has been a particularly busy and exciting time for the hospice.
"This fantastic new facility will maximise the opportunities for enjoyment and life enrichment for patients and their families at a difficult time.”
Counselling and spiritual care will also be provided for people dealing with emotional stress, as well as physiotherapy to ensure patients maintain mobility for as long as possible.
The North London Hospice is a charity which provides practical, spiritual and emotional care for people with life-threatening illnesses.