Mary Potter Hospice is close to opening its new community hub in the heart of Porirua. Te Whare Rānui will be a place for patients and whānau, a working place for Hospice community staff, and a shared space for the community. Patients will come to Te Whare Rānui for doctors’ clinics, Day Unit activities, educational workshops, counselling, therapies and connection with other patients.
“Having a base in Porirua will mean our community can come to one place,” Mary Potter Hospice Porirua Community Manager, Norma says. “Our team can work together to support whanāu in the community – and the community can come use the facilities.”
The name Te Whare Rānui was gifted to Mary Potter Hospice by Ngāti Toa, expressing their support for the project and the Hospice’s presence in the region. It means the home of light and warmth.
“The Hospice has operated in the Porirua community for some time now. Most of the time we are unseen – visiting and caring for people in their homes. Having a beautiful base of ‘light and warmth’ where people can come will be amazing.”
Originally Emmerson House, the Rānui Heights building is being refurbished in stages. Reutilising a space which has been of use to people in Porirua for a number of years was important, Hickland says.
“When we moved into the renovated office space, some of the residents of Emmerson House were still here, which was great. We want this place to continue to be used by others.”
There will be no overnight beds at Te Whare Rānui – the Inpatient Unit will remain in Newtown and available to patients who need it across Porirua, Kāpiti and Wellington.
“All the services are free of charge and Mary Potter Hospice is 100% committed to staying free – with the help of our community.”
“Helping us meet this need will be a team of volunteers in a variety of roles such as day unit helpers, gardeners, biographers and community companions.”
Changing the way people think about Hospice services was something Norma hoped would happen once Te Whare Rānui fully operational. “When people think Hospice, some think death. But at Mary Potter Hospice we don’t focus on death – we are all about quality of life. We are about supporting, encouraging and enabling people to live fulfilling lives alongside their illness.”
We have raised $1,064,688 toward this building, and the main work has been completed. We need your donations to raise another $100,000 so we can complete the fit-out of this beautiful base. If you can help, please donate today. Thank you so much for your support.