A major milestone for the Leamington site of Hospice Windsor-Essex.

The Erie Shores campus officially opened its new Welcome Centre on Thursday.

The $1.5-million facility will help people in need of palliative care.

“This building and these programs and services allow us to educate the public that we are far more than end of life services, that we really want to take care of the patients and the families,” said Colleen Reaume, the executive director of Hospice Windsor-Essex.

Reaume tells CTV Windsor the new centre will house more than 50 programs, including a kitchen.

“There's an ability with a demonstration kitchen that we will offer services to teach the loved ones or the widows that are left behind how to care for themselves and do it in a peer support group with other people that are having the same issues,” adds Reaume.

The 4,500 square foot building was fully funded by Don and Kathy Mastronardi, in memory of their parents.

Christine Colautti, the executive director of the Erie Shores Foundation, says it will cost about $600,000 to keep both the welcome centre and hospice operational every year.