New Boston hospice project suffers setback after building site burglary

A project to construct a state-of-the-art new wellbeing hub in Boston by St Barnabas Hospice has suffered a setback after two builders’ vehicles were stolen from the site.

Mandy Irons (Head of Wellbeing at St Barnabas) and Veronica McBain (Head of Fundraising and Lottery at St Barnabas) with Gelder's site manager at Boston Wellbeing Hub. EMN-210921-165319001

Last night (Monday), a dumper truck and a construction roller belonging to Gelder Group builders were stolen from the new site on Endeavour Park.

The vehicles were swiftly recovered by Lincolnshire Police in Newark and three people arrested, according to the charity.

Construction is ongoing to create the Wellbeing Hub for the local community offering essential support to patients with an end of life, or life limiting diagnosis.

Hospice officials say the site is now secured, and they will install further measures to keep the building and contents safe.

But they warn this will come at significant cost, which will add to the overall budget of the project.

Chris Wheway, Chief Executive Officer at St Barnabas Hospice said: “Having spoken to workers on site, this will delay vital groundworks to keep the project on track for opening in November, so we are extremely disappointed.

“We are grateful to Lincolnshire Police for locating the plant equipment so swiftly and are looking forward to being able to resume work at the site once it is feasible to do so.”

Last year, the hospice charity cared for 1,232 patients in the Boston area. The Boston Wellbeing Hub will enable them to care for even more in the coming years, with a wider range of support available. It will be a new home for hospice care in South Lincolnshire, providing a safe and welcoming space for people to receive high-quality support and care from specialists.

Before the pandemic, the Boston Clinical team at St Barnabas Hospice operated from an ageing bungalow that was much loved but had become increasingly run-down and did not offer the environment needed for staff and patients.

In 2019 a local philanthropist, Stefan Novak, left a legacy gift to be spent on caring for those in the south of Lincolnshire, and this money has been able to fund around half of the build.

The new building will be named Novak House in honour of Mr Novak and will include treatment and therapy rooms, a garden room used for a range of activities including therapy groups, exercise sessions, counselling and social events, plus Rosie’s lounge and kitchen, a social space for staff, volunteers, patients and family members.

To read more about the project or make a donation, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/bostonappeal