A VITAL hospice for children with life-limiting conditions – and their families – is nearing completion.
Charity chiefs at West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust yesterday opened the doors to showcase the work done so far on the much-anticipated new hospice at Brackenhall, near Rastrick and Huddersfield.
People across Calderdale and beyond have fund-raised over the past few years for the £2.5m building, which will care for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions from the New Year. It has four bedooms for children to stay in, as well as rooms for day care children to enjoy activities such as arts or music therapy and a hydrotherapy pool.
Chief executive Peter Branson said: “I’m thrilled. It’s a lovely, homely place for children and families during very difficult times.”
A unique addition to the hospice is an end-of-life suite – a room kept at 4C – for a child to stay once they have passed away so families can say goodbye in their own time, and a a fully-furnished apartment where the child’s family can stay.
Mr Branson said: “Most families have known for weeks or years their child would pass away at some point.
“Those days between passing away and being buried or cremated is fundamental for the families to say goodbye in whatever way is right for them.”
Margaret Wadsworth, head of care, added: “When a child dies and is in hospital or a funeral home, the family has to make an appointment to see them.
“Here they can have someone around all the time. Because of the staff, the child is never left on their own, which is often one of the parents’ greatest concerns.”
Funds are still desperately needed to run the hospice as well as furnish the currently bare family rooms upstairs and landscape the grounds.
Mr Branson said: “Lots of people have fund-raised for many years to get this building up, but we now have to keep it up and running and support the families that need us.
“The more money we raise, the bigger our team and the more families we can help. We know there are about 400 children out there that have conditions we can support. We never want to be in a position where we have to turn people away.”
l The hospice’s keys will be officially handed over to Mr Branson at the Huddersfield Town match against Stevenage FC this Saturday. Reduced price tickets are on sale, in aid of the hospice, at the trust’s shops or on 01484 487570.