It’s up to all of us to do our bit to preserve our hospice

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If you have been driving up Barrowby Road of late, you may have noticed a gleaming new building on the right hand side of the road as you drive out of town.

When I drove past for the first time, I did a double take. At first, I thought that someone must have built a new nursing home.

And then, as I passed, I realised that I knew the building, indeed I had visited it, but it had now been utterly transformed.

The old GIFTS hospice occupied a handsome gabled house and had rightly won the affection and commitment of local people, businesses and the Grantham Journal.

But it was in desperate need of modernisation. In an inspired move, the trustees of GIFTS decided to join forces with St Barnabas, the respected hospice group with facilities throughout the rest of Lincolnshire.

And, in an equally inspired move, St Barnabas decided to cherish the old building but breathe new life into it with a major extension and complete refurbishment of the original property.

Grantham now has a state-of-the art-facility providing palliative care and support to those approaching the end of their lives and respite to those who care for them.

We are blessed to have this institution in the heart of our town – but it is up to all of us to do our bit to help raise money to keep it going.

Some will bake cakes. Some will organise a bring-and-buy stall. And a few will do something truly remarkable. Like Paul Whitworth, who last week walked the 147 miles of the Viking Way, from the Humber Bridge to Oakham, and raised over £2,000.

When I met him at the Dirty Duck in Woolsthorpe last Friday morning, he was approaching the end of his long march, but seemed to have the energy of a man 40 years younger.

So here’s a challenge for us all this autumn: to find a way to keep fit and help our local hospice at one and the same time.

You can rest assured that whatever you chose to do, you will be making a huge difference to someone’s life, and to their family.

Nick Boles MP