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Topping Out

Christmas cake was shared and mugs of tea were raised to Arthur Rank Hospice’s new build on Monday 14 December, as construction workers and project partners joined together to celebrate what is known in the trade as ‘topping out’.

To mark the occasion Arthur Rank Hospice’s CEO Dr Lynn Morgan ascended on a scissor lift to 6.3 metres, where Barnes’ Construction Director Mr Mark Hart showed them the building’s top most point – which stands in the region of 9.5 metres - and from where the full extent of the building works progress could be seen.

Historically the topping out ceremony draws on centuries of tradition, with builders celebrating the moment a structure reaches its highest point. Originally used as an opportunity to bestow good luck on a structure, today it is seen as a moment to thank the workforce, bring together the project teams and celebrate progress.

Dr Lynn Morgan commented: 'We are delighted that since we started in June, the works have progressed on schedule. It’s been incredible to see how the structure has evolved over the last six months from a dirt plot, to what we see from a birds-eye view here today - the complete shell of a hospice building. Whilst it is very exciting to see our plans come to initial fruition, this is just first step: there is still much work to be done, not to mention the £3.4m which is yet to be raised in order to fund the £10.5m project: so full steam ahead!'

Mark Hart, Barnes’ Construction Director added: 'The team has been working really hard to keep the work on schedule, so today was a great opportunity to thank them. With less than a year to go until the Hospice is handed over, we have much work still to do. Now the internal walls are in, the spaces are starting to take shape. It really does allow everyone to get a real feel for how the building will work and the flow from area to area. One of the most exciting elements will be the sample bedroom and en-suite which we will fit over the coming weeks, as this will allow staff and potential funders to see how a finished bedroom will actually look.'

The Hospice is planned to open to patients in late 2016, with a whole array of preview days being hosted ahead of this. The preview days will give the people of Cambridgeshire and beyond the opportunity to see the enhanced facilities which will be on offer, as a result of their fundraising and commitment to their local adult hospice.

Image: (left to right) Lynn Morgan, CEO of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity; Mark Hart, Construction Director Barnes Construction; Matt Ramplin, Project Manager, Barnes Construction.

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