Building the Future

The Original Priscilla Bacon Lodge

Priscilla Bacon HospiceIn 1979, the first Priscilla Bacon Lodge opened on Unthank Road in Norwich, thanks to an appeal led by Priscilla, Lady Bacon, which was supported by a host of businesses, community groups and Trusts. Upon completion, the facility was donated to the NHS, who funded the core care services which continue to be delivered by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust today, with enhancements from the Priscilla Bacon Hospice Charity. Priscilla Bacon Lodge established a proud heritage, bringing peace, dignity and vital support to thousands of families across Norfolk requiring palliative and end of life care.

Since the Lodge first opened, the population of Norfolk has grown by over 220,000. People are living longer, and increasing numbers are presenting multiple complex care conditions; yet the number of specialist palliative care beds, facilities and support services has not increased in line with demand. With a significantly lower percentage of individuals able to access end of life care compared to the national average, the need for a new hospice in Norfolk had never been greater.

Changing the Future

Priscilla Bacon Norfolk Hospice Care Ltd, known as the Priscilla Bacon Hospice Charity, was formed in 2016 to fundraise for, and build, a new hospice on an eight-acre site adjacent to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. An appeal for £12.5 million was launched in February 2019.

It quickly became evident that the new Priscilla Bacon Lodge had to encompass far more than merely being a replacement building. It needed to serve as the catalyst and driving force to guarantee that patients, their families and loved ones receive services and assistance throughout their experiences, both within the Lodge and in the broader Norfolk community.

In February 2022, thanks to the remarkable generosity of so many individuals and organisations, the Charity broke ground and commenced construction of the new, state-of-the-art Priscilla Bacon Lodge.

After five years of relentless fundraising and generosity, and a year and a half of construction, the dream finally became reality.

It was a truly momentous moment for everyone at the Charity in the summer of 2023, when the new building was completed, equipped and symbolically entrusted to our clinical colleagues for the benefit of the people of Norfolk and the wider local community.

The building stands as a testament to all the hard work and commitment from individuals and organisations in their dedication and support for the long term future of palliative care.

The new building welcomed its first patients on 15th September 2023, and HM King Charles III officially opened the building on 26th October 2023.

The NHS has retained ownership of the original facility situated on Unthank Road in Norwich, which will be repurposed to provide alternative medical services.

Turning the Town Pink

Prior to the formal launch of the fundraising appeal, the Charity elected to develop a network of charity shops, which would establish the new Charity, promote the brand and commence fundraising.  The shops act as beacons for the Charity, engaging with local communities.

The innovative use of converted shipping containers, which were painted in the Charity’s bright pink brand colour, and located in Drayton and Taverham, became synonymous with the Priscilla Bacon Hospice Charity.

Phased growth of the retail operation occurred, expanding into traditional shops in Aylsham, Bowthorpe, Cromer, North Walsham and Stalham. The Charity ventured into the digital realm with an online sales team, and there are plans for ongoing expansion of the retail operation.

The shops sell a wide variety of well-presented goods and are collection points for donations of stock and provide volunteering and fundraising opportunities. In the last year 150 retail volunteers helped 16,500 donors to sort 45,000 bags of donated goods.

The R G Carter Group has been instrumental in supporting the Charity helping to plan and establish the retail units. Additionally, their generosity extended to donating a van, essential for ensuring the seamless co-ordination of collections and deliveries from its network of charity shops.

During the pandemic, the van provided vital aid, helping to pick up more than 3,000 stock donations from people’s homes and transporting them to the central warehouse in Drayton for sorting. This innovative approach has evolved into a house clearance service, benefitting both the families utilising the service, and ensuring a continuous supply of stock for the charity shops.

Collection tins have played a vital role in the fundraising efforts, strategically placed in over 500 locations across Norfolk. The distinctive bright pink collection tins are instantly recognisable, serving as visible symbols which promote community support and contributions.

Appeal Launch and Fundraising

The £12.5m fundraising appeal for the new Priscilla Bacon Lodge was formally launched at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park in February 2019.

During an evening of presentations, Robert Carter, Chair of the Trustees, emphasised Norfolk’s proud history of fundraising. Stressing the pressing need for a new facility to become the catalyst to revolutionise the future of hospice care in Norfolk, he urged the county to rally behind the appeal, echoing the community’s support from four decades ago.

The fundraising call to arms was publicised widely by Eastern Daily Press and Eastern Evening News coverage, highlighting the importance of the appeal.

The response was tremendous. A multitude of events and activities were undertaken by individuals, schools and businesses – many of whom were inspired to support the Charity due to a personal connection with Priscilla Bacon Lodge. Transformational donations were received from donors and Trusts who understood the need for the new hospice and recognised the potential impact their contributions could have. See the Trusts and Foundations who have supported the Charity at the link below.

Trusts and Foundations

The Land

R G Carter were pleased to donate eight acres of land adjacent to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

This new location, easily accessible with a variety of transport links, is instrumental in ensuring the success of the new facility. Its proximity to the hospital enhances collaborative care, and plans are in place to integrate education and training at the hospice in association with the University of East Anglia’s Medical School. Priscilla Bacon Lodge can facilitate research programmes in collaboration with the University, the Hospital, or the National Institute of Health Research.

The land was gifted by R G Carter in recognition of its centenary, marking 100 years of operating in Norfolk. The deeds to this greenfield site were passed from Robert Carter to Lady Bacon, Patron of Priscilla Bacon Hospice Charity on a windy day in October 2021.


Designed by LSI Architects, the team included Richard Utting Associates, Rossi Long Consulting and Hoare Lea. The new state-of-the-art hospice building provides capacity for 24 inpatient beds, as well as day care facilities, a wellness centre and a gym. The hospice required space to host a community hub providing ‘virtual ward’ care for people being cared for in their own homes, along with office space for the Charity. Also key to its design was a central dining space, to be accessible to the public and act as a community space.

Situated in a beautiful, landscaped setting, the hospice was designed to be as non-clinical in appearance as possible; a ‘home away from home’. Traditional Norfolk Red bricks and extensive use of timber gave the impression of a typical Norfolk farmstead. Its positioning maximises natural light within public and private rooms and all patients have access to outdoor space.

Lady Bacon played an instrumental role in the gardens, which were designed by James Alexander-Sinclair. The internal design, aiming to ‘bring the outside in’, was inspired by sweet peas from Lady Bacon’s garden.

Priscilla Bacon Lodge was LSI’s first healthcare building designed entirely fossil fuel free. This environmental benefit, along with exceptional thermal performance, and with space for future expansion, means that this new building will help ensure the provision of the very best care for many years to come.

Priscilla's Garden

The magnificent site, upon which this new hospice sits, has a garden that has been designed in harmony with the building and demonstrates Dame Cicely Saunders’ understanding of ‘a good death for all’. The gardens enhance the experience for patients, relatives, visitors and staff alike, enabling them to be at one with nature at this critical time.

The garden and landscape at Priscilla Bacon Lodge has been conceived by award-winning designer James Alexander-Sinclair. He has created gardens with diverse planting accessible for patients and families, including individual inpatient gardens, a Nurses’ Garden, a Physiotherapy Garden and much more.

At Priscilla Bacon Lodge, accessible footpaths and seating areas were designed and created for reflection and contemplation or for a social gathering, surrounded by an expansive wildflower meadow with a wider planting of mature trees.

Patients confined to a bed are not restricted, as beds can be wheeled into individual private garden terraces so that patients can immerse themselves and discover a range of contrasting colours, shapes and textures, maintaining a connection with nature.

The Build

Breaking Ground

In February 2022, Morgan Sindall Construction commenced work on the new Priscilla Bacon Lodge, with a celebratory ground-breaking ceremony taking place on 28th February.

Over 50 guests gathered at the hospice site, including the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, The Lady Dannatt MBE, Lady Bacon and Robert Carter, who formally broke ground with a ceremonial spade.

The site of the new hospice was blessed by The Right Reverend Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich.

The ceremony marked the start of an 18-month building project, following a three year fundraising campaign which rasied over £10 million of the £12.5 million target. The event also launched the final phase of the fundraising campaign, “£2.2 for 2022” to raise money to complete the building project.

Throughout the building project, tours were provided for existing and potential donors, fundraisers, staff and volunteers to ensure everyone was inspired as the building rose from the ground.

Topping Out

The dry spring and summer enabled excellent progress on the first phase of the build.

On completion of a watertight building, the topping-out ceremony was held on the 24th November 2022, when Lady Bacon and Robert Carter joined the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, The Lady Dannatt MBE, Sandra Dinneen from Priscilla Bacon Hospice Charity and two representatives from the medical team at Priscilla Bacon Lodge, Dr Sarah Gough and Charlotte Shawe, high on the roof for speeches to over 80 guests.

The occasion was marked by pouring specially brewed R G Carter Centenary ale onto the roof, in recognition of the land that was gifted by Robert and Charlotte Carter in their Firm’s centenary year.

Built With Love

In March 2023, Reverend Canon Nick Garrard led a small ceremony with Trustees, staff from Priscilla Bacon Lodge and the construction site team, to lay paper hearts as part of the ‘Built with Love’ campaign.

Each heart bore a name, a memory of loss, love and pride or a hope, which was hidden under the entrance of the new building and will be cherished throughout its life.

to everyone who helped to make this possible.

Whether you have donated, fundraised, volunteered, attended an event, shopped with us, or helped in another way; we could not have done it without you.