St Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington has benefited from an extensive redecoration to enhance the experience of patients, staff, and visitors.

Seventy litres of paint were used during the four-week project to maintain and refresh both external and internal features of its historic Woodlands mansion as well as the modern annexes.

The work, completed by County Durham firm S Nicholson & Sons, which specialises in the restoration of heritage and listed properties, was overdue, having been delayed by the pandemic.

However, the project signals a return towards normality for the charity, which has been able to open up to more people with the launch of the Wellbeing Hub at the Woodlands. The Wellbeing Hub provides support for those living with terminal illness, and for their family and careers.

During Covid, St Teresa’s concentrated on delivering their core 24/7 inpatient and community services, and as a result took the decision to suspend its traditional day hospice sessions for groups of up to 20 people.

Since the start of this year these were replaced by drop-in sessions hosted by St Teresa’s staff and supplemented by other organisations, including the MS Society and Alzheimer’s Society.

David Smith, chief executive officer of St Teresa’s Hospice, said: “The redecoration represents somewhat of a fresh start following the challenges of Covid and creates a more welcoming, calming, and pleasant atmosphere for people and their families who are in need of our care and support.”

“It’s nice to welcome everyone back to the Wellbeing Hub with a fresh lick of paint inside and out!”

Stephen Nicholson, a director of Bishop Auckland-based S Nicholson & Sons, said: “This has been our largest project to date this year and involved teams of up to five painters and decorators on site at any one time.

“It’s been a privilege to have been involved in maintaining this marvellous old building, which also acts as a place of comfort and sanctuary to its users and their families at a very difficult time.”

The work included the painting of external windows, doors, and facias together with internal corridors, the orangery and bistro cafe.

Woodlands was built in 1829 by Robert Botcherby and was later home to several notable citizens of the town, including industrialist, banker and South Durham MP Joseph Whitwell Pease, and brewer and Darlington mayor Thomas Plews.

Offering palliative and end of life care and support to those with life limiting illness, and their families across South Durham and North Yorkshire, St Teresa’s Hospice was founded in 1986.

David Smith added: “St Teresa’s was formed by the community for the community and if it was not for the support we receive, we would be unable to deliver our vital service.”

It costs around £3m a year to run the services, the core of which are free of charge to patients, with most of its funds coming from the local community through fundraising events and legacy giving. To donate call 01325 254321 or visit https://darlingtonhospice.org.uk/donate/