THE festive season is a time of happiness when we can catch up with our friends and family, but it also important to remember that for many people it can be a sad and difficult time.

This is particularly the case for those families when a family member is seriously ill.

We all have to cope with the loss of a loved one and it makes a real difference to know they are receiving the best possible care.

I was reminded of this when I visited the Prince And Princess Of Wales Hospice in Carlton Place and saw the high standard of care given to patients.

What left the greatest impression on me was the genuine compassion and warmth shown by the staff towards addressing the individual needs of their patients.

The hospice staff strive to help patients achieve the best quality of life in the time remaining to them.

This wonderful support also extends to supporting the emotional needs of the patients' families.

I am proud that Glasgow City Council has a long and supportive relationship with the hospice. It was 30 years ago the council donated the building in Carlton Place to the hospice.

The facility is wonderful but the organisation has grown over the years and needs to move to something bigger and better for the 21st century.

Our support for the hospice continues as we work with its staff to develop its new premises next to Bellahouston Park.

The new hospice will be on an eight acre site that has been gifted to the people of Glasgow by Glasgow City Council for a nominal rent of £1 a year for 60 years.

The council will also meet the costs of relocating the existing nursery materials.

Indicative plans for the new hospice development show the building extending to about 5800 square metres over three floors, with car parking and landscaping adjacent to the building.

Proposals include the provision of a 14-bed in-patient unit, two additional beds specifically for young people, a day service and out-patient unit, an education area and administration and clinical offices.

The usual rent level for this type of use, associated car parking and landscaping is estimated at £810,000 over the lifetime of the 60-year lease agreement.

With the strong backing of the Evening Times, the hospice has now launched the Brick By Brick campaign to help support the construction.

If you can spare a few pounds it is a great cause to support and you can make donations online at: brickbybrick

Glasgow has every right to be proud of the work of the Prince And Princess Of Wales Hospice. We owe its staff and patients all the support, encouragement and friendship we can offer.

I extend my warmest wishes and thanks to all of the staff at the hospice and hope you can support the Brick By Brick campaign.

And, as this is my final column of 2012, I wish all readers a prosperous New Year.