BOLTON DJ Sara Cox visited a hospice to help celebrate the completion of its new multi-million pound “home”.
The 38-year-old Radio 1 star, who went to Smithills High School, called in at Bury Hospice with her brother, Robert, yesterday afternoon to officially open the new building.
The hospice received the keys to the building, in Rochdale Old Road, which it is hoped will be open by March.
Former model Sara said: “It’s amazing to see. It’s going to make such a difference to the lives of the patients and their families as well.
“It seems a really bright, positive place and they have got enough space now to help people as much as they can. My brother Robert is an artist and he is going to do a nice big mural for the reception.
“He got me involved. It’s nice. People have obviously raised a lot of money.”
The project, which now totals £5.05 million, has already seen a massive £4.5 million raised – half by the people of Bury.
Over the past few years Robert, who lives in Ainsworth, has exhibited his artwork at exhibitions organised by the hospice to raise money.
Speaking of the mural, he said: “It’s quite a big piece of art. I think it’s 8ft by 30ft long. It’s been designed with the five towns of Bury in mind, all working together.”
Sara and Robert were joined by Father Christmas, members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire) Band, Mayoress of Bury Cllr Joan Grimshaw and Consort Paul Grimshaw, hospice supporters and children from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School to mark the official handover of the building from developer Seddon.
Sara, who will move from her Radio 1 Sunday morning show to cover Fearne Cotton’s weekday programme when she goes on maternity leave in the coming weeks, told the guests: “It’s really lovely to be involved. When you walk in, there’s a real heart to the building already.”
The campaign to build a larger, more modern facility to provide end-of-life care to patients with any life-limiting illness, not just cancer, was launched in 2010 and £500,000 is still needed to complete and open the new hospice.
It has been backed by our sister paper, The Bury Times. Events, from schoolchildren selling cupcakes to Christmas fairs have been held to raise money for the project.
Jacqui Comber, chief executive of the hospice, said: “They have just been absolutely phenomenal if you think of the economic climate that we are in.”