A HOSPICE serving South Gloucestershire has opened a new building which will give the families of terminally-ill patients a place to grieve.

The highly-anticipated extension of St Peter’s Hospice in Brentry, Bristol has been officially opened the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol Mary Prior at a special event attended by local dignitaries, staff, supporters and patients.

The newly built Garden Rooms will be home to the psychological, social and spiritual (PSS) team at the hospice and will provide a relaxing space for patients to enjoy. The building will allow hospice staff to provide more creative therapies including music and art therapy. It will also provide a space for group bereavement work for family members who have lost a loved one.

Chief executive of the charity, Simon Caraffi, said: “This building means an awful lot to everybody at the hospice.

“This is the first time the PSS team have had their own purpose-built space and it will make such a difference to the work they do every day.

“The design of the building has been carefully planned to maximise peace and relaxation for patients and we’re really looking forward to being able to offer even more complementary therapies to not only patients but their families who are often under an awful lot of stress too.”

He added: “As Bristol’s only adult hospice we are very aware of how important the services we provide are to the community and we’re very proud to be able to offer this fantastic new facility to those with life limiting illnesses in the area.”

Bereavement co-ordinator Elaine Browning said: “We want to create a safe and supportive environment for those grieving so that we can help them find a way forward with the rest of their lives.

“Some friends and family members find it very difficult to re-enter the hospice after having lost someone there, so the fact that this building is a little bit removed will make it so much easier for them.

“It’s going to be a very calm space for us to do our work and I just can’t wait to get started.”

The building cost around £500,000 and has been funded by a Department of Health grant and has been under construction since late last year.

St Peter’s is Bristol’s only adult hospice and cares for more than 2,489 patients each year as well as supporting family members. The service costs around £18,000 a day. To help in any way visit www.stpetershospice.org