VISITORS flocked to Forest Holme Hospice’s 20th birthday summer gala for their last look at the building before it undergoes a transformation.

Patients and staff will start moving out at the beginning of next month and work on the £750,000 refurbishment is due to begin on July 20.

The event, held to raise money for the Forest Holme Nurses’ Fund and Forest Holme charity, included stalls, crafts, plants, a barbecue, face painting, cakes, a raffle and tombola. There was also the chance to dedicate a balloon to a loved one in return for a donation.

“We had a good turn-out and all the kids’ games sold out,” said fundraiser Hannah Parsons.

“A lot of the people that do dedications have lost someone here. It’s a good occasion to come back for the first time.”

The hospice, which was purpose-built, is able to carry out the work thanks to a £506,104 grant from the Department of Health and a £250,000 legacy from a local individual with links to Forest Holme.

The money is being used to extend the premises to increase capacity and move in-patients from the first floor to the ground floor. The current two four-bed bays and two single rooms upstairs will be replaced downstairs with one four-bed and one three-bed bays plus five single rooms with en suite bathrooms.

Some of the single rooms will have access to private patios and all will be close to the courtyard garden. There will also be a circular patients’ lounge.

The hospice in Seldown Road, town centre, is Poole Hospital’s palliative care unit. Patients and staff are to be accommodated at the hospital’s Kimmeridge Ward until December.