Five East Devon based Archant titles have been praised for driving a £250,000 appeal to finish the building of a day hospice which will serve the patches covered by all the newspapers.

Group editor Phil Griffin joined support groups, fundraisers and nurses at the Hospiscare charity’s site in Honiton to celebrate reaching the massive target.

It is hoped builders will hand over the keys early in 2015 so it can be furnished and equipped.

The target was reached in just 11 months by people from all over East Devon organising numerous fundraising events, including coffee mornings, cream teas, a fashion show, a head shave, art auction, sponsored walks, skydiving and golf days.

Sarah Smith, Hospiscare appeal manager, said: “Our partnership with Archant’s five newspapers in East Devon has been a massive part of the success of our appeal. The readers have taken our East Devon appeal to their hearts and the money they have helped raise will help us fulfil our promise to bring care closer to the people of East Devon.”

Hospiscare announced the £1.2 million day hospice project last year and received a grant of £510,000 from NHS England, as well as generous pledges from its sister charities, Budleigh, Exmouth and Sidmouth Hospiscare. To raise the final £250,000, the East Devon Day Hospice Appeal was launched on February 5, 2014 – with the backing of the Archant titles.

The Exmouth Journal, Exmouth Herald, Midweek Herald, Sidmouth Herald and Cranbrook Heraldpledged weekly support to highlight the vital work of Hospiscare and invited people to get involved by organising or supporting events across East Devon, volunteering or simply making a donation.

Glynis Atherton, Hospiscare’s chief executive, said: “Thanks to the amazing support of the Archant papers and the extraordinary generosity of the local community, we have reached our target.

“I can’t wait to be able to welcome local people across the threshold and show them what a difference their hard-won fundraising has made. We couldn’t have done it without you – thank you so much!”

Phil Griffin said: “With more than 100,000 readers across East Devon, our newspapers have a lot of clout when it comes to spreading a message.

“This is a terrific result and shows how generous people are across the area. The East Devon community has really got behind this project and the fact the target has been reached before the end of the year is testimony to the efforts of all those who have run events to get the East Devon Day Hospice developed in Honiton, for the benefit of the whole area.”

The new day hospice will be a haven of care for local people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It will offer complementary therapies in spa-like treatment rooms, a large and comfortable patient lounge, a specialised bathroom, a beautiful garden, plus educational facilities for the training of healthcare professionals and students, and access to palliative care specialists for support, advice or treatment.

Pictured above, Archant group editor Phil Griffin, far left, celebrates with appeal supporters.