A hospice in Bedfordshire has been given £200,000 of government funding to improve its facilities.
However, Keech Hospice in Luton has just five months to finish the work or it risks losing the money.
The hospice provides care for adults and children in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes.
Money will be used to extend and improve the building but work must be completed by March 2011 and the project cannot start until mid-November.
"The grant will fund most of the building work we have planned and we are applying to trusts to fund the balance," said Mike Keel, deputy chief executive.
"While the work is extensive, we have planned it carefully to minimise disruption to care."
He added the hospice would continue to function normally in the meantime.