VISITORS and staff at the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed now have a more welcoming reception hall following a makeover.
The project was spearheaded by Sue Beales and Karen D’Arcy, interior design consultants at Life at Nettlebed.
Their brief was to transform the hall, with its oak panelling, stone baronial fireplace and stained-glass windows into a warm, welcoming and contemporary space.
The women, who have previously raised £25,000 for the hospice, gave their design expertise free, re-arranged some of the best bits of furniture and donated cushions, rugs and design accessories.
Gareth Rees, of Redcurrant Furniture, reupholstered two armchairs from the Sue Ryder sales for nothing, Sanna Hedman, of Henley interiors company Linum, donated soft furnishings and Dan Swarsky, of electrical contractors Proelec, advised on the lighting for the hall and donated a chandelier for the sanctuary room at the hospice.
The gifts of time, expertise and materials meant the hospice only had to pay for new bookcases for the hall.
Karen Guy, head of clinical care, said: “The hall is definitely more welcoming. We now see families and patients sitting down in this area here whereas before it wasn’t really conducive to having a chat.”
Clare Sherriff, a member of the hospice’s user group, said: “The hall was not necessarily the most comfy or welcoming of places. It had the air of being put together over the years, perhaps without a design plan, from donated bits and pieces.
“It didn’t necessarily speak of the professional and loving place that Sue Ryder Nettlebed is.”
Pam Chatfield, palliative care services manager, said they took ideas to the hospice’s user group.
“Some people come in and it’s quite possibly distressing or upsetting and they just want somewhere to sit,” she said.
Sue Ryder is appealing for other companies which might be interested in helping the charity to revamp other areas of the hospice, such as its family rooms, to make contact. Call regional fund-raiser Moira Logie on (01491) 641070 or email