TV presenter Ranvir Singh makes first coffee to launch The Mill

The Mill has been launched with the help of Good Morning Britain star Ranvir Singh.

The presenter and broadcaster made the first cup of coffee in The Mill in St Catherine’s Park – the charity’s new venture which opened to the public on Monday November 24th.

Nicola Smith helps TV presenter Ranvir Singh make the first cup of coffee at The Mill

The pioneering concept of The Mill is to support people facing life-shortening illnesses in an informal, relaxed café setting – helping them to help themselves and each other to live more comfortably and independently.

It will provide information, advice, therapies and support and is intended to be an attractive café and hub open to all – with the aim that the fear or anxiety some people feel about hospices can be dispelled.

The Mill Café provides locally sourced, seasonal dishes and even a special St Catherine’s blend coffee. In addition, rooms can be hired out by local groups and businesses to host everything from craft sessions to management meetings.

The project, which has been funded largely by grants and special awards including a substantial grant won from NHS England, will operate as a social enterprise – with all profits ploughed back into the specialised care of St Catherine’s Hospice.

As fundraising for the hospice continues to be extremely tough, the new venture is part of a business transformation programme to bring in vital new income for the charity.

It is hoped that the reassurance provided by The Mill will also help take pressure off GP practices and other health and social care providers.

Ranvir, who also appears on ITV’s News at Ten and was awarded an honorary fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire last year, said she was delighted to attend the launch.

Ranvir Singh and special guests at the launch of The Mill

“It was an honour to turn barista for the afternoon and make the first cup of St Catherine’s blend coffee in The Mill,” she said.

“It is wonderful to see a much-loved local charity looking forward to an exciting new chapter – adapting to the changing needs of local people and working in new ways to help the local community whilst also attracting new supporters to ensure its survival for the future.

“The building itself is beautiful and the café menu looks fantastic. The Mill really will be an asset in the local area on many different levels.”

Other guests at the launch event included football pundit and hospice supporter Mark Lawrenson, the Mayors of South Ribble, Chorley and Preston, representatives from architects Cassidy & Ashton and Eric Wright Construction, and several other businesses and benefactors who have supported the initiative.

Chief Executive Stephen Greenhalgh, Ranvir Singh, Mark Lawrenson and Chairman of the Board Cliff Hughes at The Mill launch

Chief Executive of St Catherine’s Hospice Stephen Greenhalgh and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Cliff Hughes MBE led the speeches.

Cliff said: “We are delighted to see so many here for today’s launch, and are excitedly looking forward to welcoming our first visitors through the door on Monday.

“The finished project you see before you would not have been possible without the hard work of many over the last six years – from those who helped us win the grants to fund the venture, to the contractors who turned our vision into a reality.”

Stephen said: “As we look ahead to 2015, our 30th anniversary year, The Mill signifies an exciting new chapter for St Catherine’s. It sees us go ‘back to the future’ as we step out with this bold new project – just like those pioneers of St Catherine’s in the 1980s. .

“This fantastic resource, based on ideas from patients and families, will benefit people on many levels – from a friendly face offering welcome advice, to a place to ‘come back to and reflect’ or just to meet friends, host a business meeting or attend a yoga class. Our biggest hope is that The Mill becomes a source of inspiration that removes anxieties about hospice care and empowers people to help friends and neighbours at those times when it matters most. The project has taken a massive effort from countless friends, volunteers, staff, businesses and funders over a long period of time for which we are extremely grateful.”

Guests were treated to a sample of The Mill Café menu before taking in some of the activities that will be available for the community, including craft sessions and the Ledbed therapeutic dance-based exercise class, specifically developed to help those living with Lymphoedema.

First floor rooms include The Green Butterfly Room – a dedicated craft and activities space within the new development; the James de Lostock Room – suitable for light exercise classes and business seminars; and the Siena Suite designed for complementary therapies and counselling.

« back to news