The St Wilfrid’s Hospice team welcomed Jayne Torvill when the famed Olympic medal-winning figure skater visited the community shop in Heathfield. Jayne chatted to staff, volunteers and supporters and officially opened the new community base – which is an exciting new venture for St Wilfrid’s.

To the rear of the shop, which has been on the site since last year, is a community base, which includes a bereavement centre, clinical office and counselling room. These extra facilities will allow the hospice team to conduct bereavement counselling and other support services closer to patients and families in Uckfield and Heathfield, saving patients the journey to the main hospice in Eastbourne.

The new bereavement centre at the Heathfield shop, allowing residents to access care closer to them

The base will also provide workstations for the community clinical team to use for administrative tasks, saving time and money on travel between locations. This is part of the hospice’s ‘Closer to You’ strategy and is a flagship endeavour for the St Wilfrid’s team, as they reach out to more patients and relatives across East Sussex.

Jayne with shop volunteer, Rosemary Walcott

Jayne Torvill commented: ‘It is amazing to see the spirit of St Wilfrid’s and the whole team’s commitment to supporting local people wherever they need care. It was a pleasure to be asked to open this exciting new location – I’ll look forward to visiting and seeing how the new arrivals settle in to my local shop. As a local resident I think this will help so many people in Heathfield, as well as beyond the town.’

Becky Speight, Income Generation Manager at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, commented: ‘We’re hugely grateful to the whole team for making this a possibility –  our clinical and bereavement teams, the retail team and shop manager Catherine Lacey for their hard work to get the base ready, and of course, to Jayne herself.’