Hospice care in Central Otago has a new place to call home, as the Otago Community Hospice opened its new Hospice Hub in Cromwell on Monday.

Hospice staff were joined by associates as the site was blessed by the Rev Te Kauru Cameron of the Te Aka Puaho (the Presbyterian Maori Synod).

Otago Community Hospice chief executive officer Ginny Green said the new site in Ripponvale Rd was more suitable for the growing team, which provided services for Central Otago and Wanaka.

There was a greater need for hospice support as the average population grew older and that applied throughout Central Otago, particularly in Wanaka.

‘‘Being an older population, the need for excellent palliative care services is just growing.’’

The site will house nine hospice staff, including care coordinators, specialist nurses and doctors, a kaimahi wairua/ spiritual care co-ordinator, a counsellor and a social worker.

‘‘It has space for consultations, counselling, office space for the growing team and for education delivery for our colleagues in primary health and patients and whanau,’’ Ms Green said.

The Hospice Hub was previously located in Cromwell’s industrial area and often difficult to access due to trucks, as well as feeling closed in.

Now the Hub looks out on to orchards, making it a ‘‘pretty special space’’, she said.

Clinical nurse specialist Helen Harrex said the new hub would be beneficial for both staff and clients.

‘‘It’s a fantastic hub for us as a team to come together and work,’’ she said.

‘‘Having a space out here in nature, where [the staff] can just take a moment in the peace and quiet to gather our thoughts, will certainly help provide better care for our patients.’’

Community care co-ordinator Rachel Sinclair agreed and said the space would give staff an opportunity to reflect on their work, not only with patients, but with other staff.

‘‘It gives us a sense of being able to reignite our energy and just to focus on what’s important.

‘‘Family and whanau and nature, particularly at end of life.

‘‘It’s nice to look out at the mountains . . .and just know there is something greater and bigger than us. That’s often what families are struggling with.’’

The blessing of the Hospice Hub coincided with the start of Hospice Awareness Week.

The Otago Community Hospice will use the week to continue to raise awareness of hospice services and the challenges they face.

Hospice receives about 56% of its funding from the Government and the remaining 44% is raised in the community, equalling about $3 million a year.