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Project information

Build an Eco- friendly Hospice in Derwentside

A visionary facility to replace our old 1930s ward, part of an isolation Hospital complex . Our new sustainable Hospice will reflect the needs of our community. We are staying in our current location and will maximise the fabulous views. Uniquely a Wellbeng centre will allow us to expand services

November 2011 - December 2014

Charity information: Willow Burn Hospice ( Derwentside Hospice Care Foundation )

Willow Burn Hospice ( Derwentside Hospice Care Foundation ) logo
  • Need


    The Hospice was founded in 1989 by two remarkable ladies who commandeered the ward from which we operate, then part of a thriving ex isolation hospital, now a derelict site but in an idyllic location. Willow Burn has exciting and groundbreaking plans to build a new fit for purpose community facility taking advantage of the views on the current site, maximising the use of ‘green’ technologies and minimising our carbon footprint. We need to build before we become unfit for purpose.


    The new facility will allow us to expand services, move from 4 beds to 6, offer more respite care and answer the unmet need identified as those with non cancer life limiting illness.
    We will expand our Hospice@Home service and offer a greater breadth of service in our patients homes. Family support services will have a suitable base from which to help children and families manage bereavement. Uniquely the Wellbeing centre will break down barriers and help us to engage with all our community

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Build a new Hospice and WellBeing Centre


    » Build a project Team to deliver creat and deliver the vision
    » Raise half the funds in a private ask and half froma public campaign Invovle our community and stakeholders. Atract influential individuals to help
    » Appoint the contractor and build Phase 1. Have our longest serving Volunteer who is 84 to carry out the toppoing off ceremony
    » Celebrate the opening of Phase 1 and use it to maintain fundraising for the second phase.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...
    opening the doors to a facility which delivers care, comfort and compassion to our community in a 21st century sustainable environment.

    Aim 2

    Expand upon the current service provision


    » Move from 4 in patient beds to 6 of which 2 will be respite, (currently only 1 ) Establish a rehabilitation model for day Care, now a social model

    What success will look like

    Success will be...
    Offering more of our services to those who need them when,where and how they choose to access them

    Aim 3

    Build a WellBeing Centre offering therapies free to patients and for a donation to the community


    » We have support from a major donor and expressions of interest from businesses . We will build on this in our campaign to recruit new supporters

    What success will look like

    Success will be...
    watching patients, carers and community all wearing the same fluffy white gowns and slippers receiving the same therapies indistinguishable from each other

    Aim 4

    Holistic Care


    » Expand on the current facilities for spiritual, family support, compelementry therapies. We already have an expression of interest to help

    What success will look like

    Success will be...
    knowing we are fulfilling all our patients needs 24 hours of the day, 365 days of the year in an environment which will allow us to so do

    Aim 5



    » Project is scoped for technologies we can utilise, PV, Rainwater harvesting, GSHP,solar thermal. We will utilise the Governments FiT to part finance

    What success will look like

    Success will be..
    monitoring the per square metre running costs of the new facility and demonstrating they are lower than those of our existing building.

  • Impact


    Long term the new facility will guarantee the future of Hospice services for the people of Derwentside.
    The current building will not remain fit for purpose for very much longer so the new Hospice isn't optional !
    Our Long term plans demonstrate our desire to help all those with a life limiting illness, include all generations in our future and we will use the WellBeing centre, relationships with GPs, commissioning consortia and the Governments health improvement agenda to further these aims.


    There is a risk we may not be able to fund all of the building at the same time. In additon to build in one go involves demolishing our current facility and being without 'Willow Burn' while we build the new. To mitigate we plan to build in phases with Phase 1 the Community hub having the abiiity to create a temporary in patient unit while Phase 2 incorporating the IPU is constructed.
    The building is a sectional and pre-fabricated like a Climat Hus so minimising build time.


    We will have donor events such as hard hat tours and lunchtime meetings. The web site will have a fundometer and weekly updates. We will e mail donors with monthly reports with upcoming an ongoing events including any 'moves, adds and changes'.
    Recognition opportunities will also be communicated

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,700,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,200,000 Phase 1 Community Hub
      £3,500,000 Phase 2 IPU, Wellbeing and restorative gardens

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Sir Tom Cowie Charitable Trust £500,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Derwentside has a great history of industrial achievement. Of our two major conurbations Consett is famed for Steel and Stanley for coal. OUr community helped put the great in to Great Britain.
    Lanchester is a working village lying between the two conurabations and Maiden Law where the Hospice is and will be situated is on he slopes both overlooking the village and up the Derwent Dales.


    Willow Burn is centred in its community. Derwentside has a small, rural, population of 85,000, over half of which is classified in the bottom 30% most deprived in the country and 82% of which is classified in the bottom 30% most health deprived in the country. Combined with a higher than average incidence of death, there is a real and desperate need for our services.
    Coal and Steel are both hard dirty industries the community legacy of which is chronic ill health and premature death.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Hospices are based in their communities. Willow Burn has been providing services for the last 21 years, we have the best understanding of need both now and in the future based upon our work. In additon the ongoing commitment of an amazing team of volunteers, some of who have been with us since the beginning guarantees we are grounded, supported, passionate and determined. Come and meet us and share in the Willow Burn experience.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Helen Mills

    Chief Executive Helen leads Willow Burn. We are very much a team who work together and share passion and determination

    Ian Lambert

    Project Manager who will bring this home on time and in budget

    Mary Moody

    84 years old; Volunteer 3 days a week for 21 years who wants to be alive to see the new Willow Burn. With all the volunteers an inspiration