1493529153046 - Earthquake-prone Te Omanga Hospice in Lower Hutt looking for $10m to rebuild

Earthquake-prone Te Omanga Hospice in Lower Hutt looking for $10m to rebuild

How do you raise $10 million dollars?

That is the challenge facing Lesley Slieker as the Te Omanga Hospice in Lower Hutt prepares to demolish its current building and build a new one on its Woburn site.

The hospice was found to be earthquake-prone after the 2013 Seddon earthquake, which rocked the Wellington region, but it survived the Kaikoura earthquake in November unscathed.

The Hutt City Council set a 2018 deadline to strengthen the property, which is actually four different buildings joined together.

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Te Omanga opted to demolish and rebuild on its current site.

Construction is expected to begin later this year. Te Omanga will move into Britannia House in Petone.

Slieker has the job of raising $10m to fund the work and admits it is a big challenge.

Her CV includes raising $15m for Ronald McDonald House and she has a number of strategies to make the task achievable.

Events like raffles and cake stalls play a role, but in reality, 80 to 90 per cent of the money will come from a small number of donors.

Initially, she plans to concentrate on families and organisations that are likely to make big donations.

There is a lot of goodwill in the community towards the hospice and it is a matter of tapping into that, she said.

The second part of her strategy is what she calls the “community” phase, which will begin early next year. That involves more traditional fund raising methods and working with organisations like Lions and Rotary.

Businesses can help by getting employees to donate $2 a week and matching the amount.

Raising $10m is not the only challenge Te Omanga faces.

Marketing manager Leanna Bruce said  it still has to raise operating funds.

“Our ongoing challenge is finding sufficient funding to provide a free palliative care service,” she said.

“It costs around $6.5 million each year and we need to find $2 million to bridge the gap between the funding the Government provides and what it costs on a day a to day basis to provide our service.”

Bruce wants the community to understand that although it is building a new premises, the hospice is still providing exactly the same services.

Those services depend on public funding and donations. The hospice covers both Lower and Upper Hutt.

Events coming up include Hospice Awareness Week in mid May and their street appeal on May 19 and 20.

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