TV’s John In­verdale hails hos­pice Man Shed

Spe­cial­ist DIY cen­tre will be a boon for Princess Alice pa­tients and fam­i­lies

Staines Informer - - NEWS - Tom Smurth­waite

TV pre­sen­ter John In­verdale paid tribute to the Princess Alice Hos­pice team as he of­fi­cially opened the new Man Shed.

An ap­peal was launched just 15 months’ ago to raise £100,000 to build the spe­cial­ist DIY cen­tre to help be­reaved and ter­mi­nally-ill men at the hos­pice in Esher that cares for peo­ple across Elm­bridge, Run­nymede and Spelthorne.

Mr In­verdale said: “A cou­ple of Marches ago when I was dig­ging out there – on a much nicer day, I have to say – and ev­ery­one was say­ing, ‘We’ll have this done in about a year or so’ my nat­u­ral jour­nal­is­tic cyn­i­cism was say­ing, ‘call it two or three,’ be­cause noth­ing ever runs to schedule. But, lo and be­hold, more money raised than an­tic­i­pated; peo­ple get­ting on with it – and I’m really look­ing for­ward to go­ing out there and per­form­ing the duty of cut­ting the rib­bon.“

Mr In­verdale be­lieves the speci­ficity of the pro­ject was one of its ‘great suc­cesses’.

“It touched a nerve and peo­ple un­der­stood it. It was pal­pa­ble, un­der­stand­able, sim­ple,” he added.

“You know, some­times sim­ple is the eas­i­est thing.”

Join­ing Mr In­verdale in cut­ting the rib­bon was Nicki Shaw, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the hos­pice.

She said: “We started the con­struc­tion around March and it was really ex­cit­ing just how quickly it started to gain shape and just how im­pres­sive it ac­tu­ally was.

“We fin­ished the build­ing at the end of April and since then we’ve been fitting out the in­side.

“Our day hos­pice pa­tients and craft group have been mak­ing soft fur­nish­ings for the lit­tle ‘ snug’ part and it’s now at a point where we’re ab­so­lutely thrilled to be of­fi­cially open­ing it to­day.”

Mrs Shaw thanked ev­ery­one who had made a do­na­tion to help make the shed a re­al­ity.

“I’d par­tic­u­larly like to thank Sur­rey County Coun­cil for mak­ing do­na­tions from their com­mu­nity im­prove­ments fund and the mem­bers al­lo­ca­tion fund; the Shan­ley Foun­da­tion; and the Pis­ca­to­rial Bowl­ing So­ci­ety,” she said.

“And thank you to Broadgate Es­tates who made a sig­nif­i­cant do­na­tion to­wards the Man Shed in mem- ory of their friend and col­league, Ian Tap­per.”

The idea for the Man Shed was orig­i­nally pro­posed by Kathy Birch, day ser­vices and ther­a­pies man­ager at the hos­pice.

She said: “To­day marks the point when we’ve achieved our as­pi­ra­tion and we ac­tu­ally have our Man Shed.

“I just want to say a big thank you to ev­ery­one who has con­trib­uted in any way, shape or form in re­al­is­ing the as­pi­ra­tion that I had for Princess Alice back in March 2013. Maybe in 12 months’ time we’ll be able to look back and see the value the Man Shed has brought to men, women, and young peo­ple whether they be pa­tients, car­ers or be­reaved rel­a­tives and the ben­e­fit that they will have from so­cial­is­ing, mak­ing things and just be­ing in the Man Shed.”

Sports pre­sen­ter John In­verdale and hos­pice chief ex­ec­u­tive Nicki Shaw cut the rib­bon.

Alis­tair Wil­son EN162382

John In­verdale toasts the new Man Shed.

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