A £2m project to build an inpatient hospice serving Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion can now go ahead, thanks to a Lottery grant.

Skanda Vale Hospice received £500k to develop new inpatient respite and end-of-life care services at their existing day care centre, near Llandysul.

Local patients and their families will soon benefit from much more choice and support at the most traumatic time of their lives.

Monks and nuns of Skanda Vale multi-faith monastery near Carmarthen have been fundraising for 20 years toward the project, which is expected to open in 2015.

The monastery began in 1973 and attracts some 90,000 visitors each year from all over the world. They provide around 60 tonnes of food aid each year to local and national charities and care for a large number of animals, including Valli – a temple elephant from Sri Lanka.

Dr. Pat Purcell, a local palliative care consultant and voluntary clinical advisor to the hospice project said: “The new hospice unit will provide respite and end-of-life services that are not currently available in the area – many patients have to travel long distances to get the care they need. The hospice is ideally located, near the borders of Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, to serve a large number of local people. Both myself and the palliative care team look forward to collaborative working with the staff at Skanda Vale Hospice.”

The equivalent of five specialist palliative nursing jobs will be created – yet all the support workers will be fully-qualified unpaid volunteers.

Brother Michael said: “The hospice is run by volunteers, so our overheads are far less than similar sized organisations. A higher proportion of donations can be invested in direct patient care.

“We’d like to thank the local community and pilgrims to Skanda Vale for all their support over the years. This hospice is primarily for the people of Wales – we want them to feel it is their hospice and to enjoy being a part of it. A huge amount of hard work has gone into fundraising for this project, but there’s still a long way to go.”