A hospice has been awarded a major grant to help build an extension.

St Raphael’s Hospice in North Cheam has been awarded more than £500,000 from the Department of Health.

The minister for care and support, Norman Lamb, announced the allocation of £60m funding for hospices to improve their physical environment.

Although the £510,000 grant was not the full amount St Raphael’s asked for they can now make plans for a new extension to the hospice.

The extension, called The Orangery, will be a large area in the centre of the hospice in London Road providing a café, visitor’s facilities and overnight accommodation for family members.

The full cost of the new extension will be £920,000 - with the balance being raised from other sources including an appeal to charitable trusts and foundations.

Dr Ron McKeran, chairman of St Raphael’s Hospice said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant, which will help us to better support people from across the boroughs of Sutton and Merton with life-limiting terminal illness, as well as their friends and families.

"The new Orangery still needs some funds but we are confident that it can be achieved and will be of real benefit to patients and their families."

St Raphael’s is reliant on voluntary donations with the majority of its care being provided in people’s own homes.

Each year the hospice has to raise over £4m to run its services in order to help about1,000 patients.

The NHS only provides a quarter of this money and the hospice has to raise the rest through donations, legacies and a host of fundraising events.