Join us to help rebuild St Columba's Hospice

• Click here to listen to April Dunn's storyTODAY the Evening News joins with St Columba's Hospice to launch a major new fundraising appeal.

The Buy a Brick campaign is asking our readers to help the hospice raise money for a huge rebuilding project.

For 32 years, the hospice has supported thousands of people with terminal illness in the Edinburgh community.

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Although the foundation and the name of the hospice were inspired by the founders' Christian faith, St Columba's has always been a secular organisation, welcoming patients from all and no faiths.

But now the hospice needs our help. To bring it into the 21st century, St Columba's is planning a complete renovation of its home in Granton. Its inpatient wards will be rebuilt, its day hospice and social and therapy areas will be transformed, a new teaching centre will be created, its gardens will be remodelled, its patient rooms re-equipped, and a new non-denominational "sacred space" created for reflection and memorial.

The hospice's campaign will cost 26 million – with 7m still to be raised. And that's where you come in. With Buy a Brick we ask you to help make the first step in this vital fundraising.

Nursing and administrative director Margaret Dunbar said: "We want to provide a hospice which is state-of-the-art. Very often we think 'If only we had . . .' whereas now staff have been involved in deciding exactly what's needed, so we hope to create a brilliant new facility."

Tom Little, editor of the Evening News, added: "For decades, the hospice has been assisting families dealing with some of the most difficult times in their lives. They do this with a degree of professionalism and compassion that is humbling.

"The Evening News is proud to be in a position to try to help this remarkable institution."

Every reader who donates will receive a "virtual brick" at the appeal website and a certificate. Bricks can be bought in memory of loved ones, to mark a special occasion, or simply in your own name. There is no fixed price for a brick.

• Click here to find out how you can help

With the hospice's annual fundraising Wits Dinner taking place at Prestonfield House tonight, the campaign will get off the ground with a swing.

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Over the coming weeks, we will introduce you to some of the people whose lives have been touched by the hospice – including Allison and Paul Derighetti, whose story we tell here. With your generosity we can ensure St Columba's will be there for everyone who needs it in the future.

• Special memories of hospice for one couple . .

• Hospice appeal: 'St Columba's is now in its hour of need'