After cutting the turf in June 2021, following delays due to the pandemic, we were thrilled to be able to celebrate the opening of our new hospice building on Friday 18th November by the Lord-Lieutenant, Countess Howe.

Countess Howe, who is the King’s representative in Buckinghamshire, was received by Willen Hospice Chairman, Paul Davis, and joined by Alexander Boswell, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire; the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Amanda Marlow, Iain Stewart MP and other honoured guests involved in the project to celebrate this significant milestone in the Hospice’s 40-year history.

Countess Howe toured the Hospice and met with staff, volunteers, funders and building contractors. At the ribbon cutting, she commented: “It is a great honour to be able to recognise this milestone and thank all those who have contributed to this project coming to fruition. The final outcome is not about bricks and mortar, it’s about the many people who will benefit from it.”

The £4m project, entitled Building a Legacy, will transform the specialist palliative care we provide for the diverse and growing population of Milton Keynes. Our refurbished 15-bed In-Patient Unit offers tranquil bedrooms, lounges with lake views and state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.  We unveiled our new Bradbury Wellbeing Centre – an innovative space where the Hospice team can take care of people’s physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological and social needs. Holistic care is an important part our care, supporting patients to live a fulfilling and enriched life for as long as possible.

Guests had the opportunity to explore the impressive new kitchen and café with stunning views over Willen Lake. A beautiful art installation was also unveiled at the event, the vision of local artist Lufeianna who was commissioned to recognise all those who have given to this important project as well as those who have played a significant part in the charity’s forty-year history.

Willen Hospice’s Chief Executive, Peta Wilkinson, commented “There is one person, in particular, who made this project possible.  A humble woman who wanted to make a difference; Shirley Anne Hawes. Shirley’s gift of a legacy to Willen Hospice made this wonderful capital project a reality. Her generosity will make a difference to hundreds of local people every year. What a fantastic philanthropic legacy to leave your local community.”

Leaving a legacy gift in your Will helps Willen Hospice plan for the future and commit to important long-term projects such as this so that their vital work can be continued and they can be there to care for many generations of patients long into the future. For more information on leaving a legacy gift, please visit or contact Fiz Johnson, Legacy Fundraiser, on or 01908 663636.