Work is about to start on a new Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice for the people of Glasgow.

There is just £2.8 million of the target cost left to raise so today, staff, patients and their families are getting together to launch the last, big push to hit the total.

Amidst the fun and games at today’s civic reception in the City Chambers and George Square, the real story is that the city is about to get a brand new, state-of-the-art centre which will revolutionise palliative care not only in Scotland, but around the world, Ann Fotheringham reports.

One ordinary day five years ago, Rhona Baillie spoke to a teenage cancer patient attending the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice for palliative care and support.

“He took one look at the day services room and said – that’s not for me,” recalls Rhona, the hospice’s chief executive.

“It was because the majority of people in there were over 50, and the whole environment was simply wrong for someone his age.

“It made me think – what do we need to do here, for young adults? How can we make this better for teenagers, their friends and families, without disturbing older patients?”

The answer was an ambitious, multi-million pound plan for a brand new, state-of-the-art hospice, in an entirely different location, innovatively designed entirely around the needs of the patient.

Backed by the Evening Times, the Brick by Brick Appeal is about to enter its final, two-year phase, driven by a dazzling new advertising campaign, including billboards and television spots, and a plea, straight from the heart of the hospice, to the people of Glasgow.

“The amazing, generous people of this city have come this far and now we are nearly there, we hope they will finish the journey with us,” smiles Rhona.

“To be donated the land by Glasgow City Council was a fantastic start. And since then, we have been blown away by how kind people have been – Glasgow is not a huge city, so to have more than eighteen and a half million pounds in the bank in just four years….”

She pauses. “It is absolutely incredible.”

Joining Rhona and local dignatories including Glasgow City Council leader Councillor Frank McAveety and Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, were the stars of the new campaign, including nurses Sharon McCaffrey and Adrienne McGrath, patients and their families.

Bill Darroch, 76, from Croftfoot, spent time at the hospice during treatment for kidney cancer.

“Everybody says the hospice is the last stop before the terminus,” he says. “But it taught me how to live, not how to die.”

His wife, Cathie, who had counselling from the hospice’s family services team, adds: “We wouldn't be here today if it hadn't been for that counselling. They really got us through a bad time.”

Poppy Miles, 13, and her 11-year-old brother Noah, from Burnside, were supported by the hospice’s Butterfly Project when their dad died. They both had a great time being part of the new advert.

“I’ll feel proud when I see it on television, knowing that it will help other children,” says Noah.

Poppy adds: “The new hospice will be good for young people because they can grow up being able to speak about the person they have lost.

“At the start I couldn’t speak about it that much to either my family or my friends. Since I went to the hospice, I can talk more.”

Saf Akram’s sister Shabeena was 34 when she died at the hospice after suffering from breast cancer. “The hospice dealt with everything to help make the moment as pain free and peaceful as possible,” recalls Saf, who lives on Glasgow’s south side. “We’ll never forget that day. It’s almost as if a weight had been lifted off our shoulders: Shabeena was no longer in pain.”

The new Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice will be the first hospice in Scotland to give young people the chance to make the transition from children’s services to adult care.

It has been designed by Ryder Architecture. Rhona was so determined that architect Alastair Forbes would design a building centred on the needs of the patient and their family, that she insisted he get into a bed in the inpatient unit.

“I wanted him to understand that every patient needs privacy, dignity and comfort while having the choice of deciding when to eat and when to be with other patients,” she explains.

This led Alastair on a journey that took him all the way to St Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, where the Sengetun model of care was pioneered.

This innovative state-of-the-art design puts patients and families first, and provides space for privacy, dignity and compassionate care for all ages.

It is based on research that shows the aesthetic design of a healthcare facility has a measurable impact on patients’ wellbeing.

“We will be the first hospice in the UK, and we understand the world, to adapt this model to a palliative care environment,” adds Rhona.

Work starts in September to build the new hospice, and patients will move in 2018. For Rhona, the idea that she will soon be standing in the completed building, about to welcome the first patients through the door, has made her “surprisingly emotional.”

“I’m a very pragmatic person, I don’t get tearful but someone asked me the other day how I’ll feel when the first patient walks in and I got a real lump in my throat,” she smiles.

“There is still work to be done but all of a sudden, it’s very real.”

Don't forget to buy tomorrow's Evening Times for details on how you can support the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice's new Buy a Brick fundraising appeal.