TV’s John Inverdale hails hospice Man Shed
Specialist DIY centre will be a boon for Princess Alice patients and families
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.
John Inverdale toasts the new Man Shed.