The High Sheriff of Kent, Kathrin Smallwood, the Mayor and Mayoress of Maidstone, Councillor Derek Butler and Mary Butler, and the Mayor of Tonbridge & Malling, Councillor Mark Rhodes were just some of the guests who attended the official opening of Heart of Kent Hospice’s new Education Centre.
Built next to the main hospice building, the Monckton Education Centre was made possible by a generous gift in a Will. It provides a purpose-built and fully accessible training facility to enable the charity to more widely share its expertise and experience in providing compassionate end of life care.
According to Chief Executive Sarah Pugh: “The opening of the Monckton Education Centre marks the next phase in our 25 year history as we aim to meet the challenge of a growing and ageing population.”
The local community is projected to increase by approximately 34,000 during the next four years, with those reaching age 65 and over expected to rise disproportionately by 15 percent.
Sarah explained: “We can’t hope to meet this increased need solely by ourselves, which is why the new building is such an important development. It enables us to influence the quality of end of life care in the community by providing a large and dedicated space to run our tailor-made courses for GPs, carers, the ambulance service and other healthcare professionals in Kent.”
The Monckton Education Centre is named in honour of the charity’s patron Marianna, Viscountess Monckton of Brenchley who, together with many of the other guests at the official opening on 29 September, was the driving force behind the fundraising and building of Heart of Kent Hospice 25 years ago.