Breaking new ground for hospice extension
We invited two teenagers with disabilities to take the lead in a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on a new state-of-the-art care facility for a children’s hospice in Stoke-on-Trent.
The ceremony was the first milestone of a multi-million-pound extension project being undertaken for The Donna Louise Hospice. The hospice offers emotional support, short breaks, respite care and symptom management, as well as a place for normality with fun activities for seriously ill children and teenagers and their families.
Braving a cold December morning Charlotte Thom aged 20 and Chloe Wilkes aged 19, who have both been supported at The Donna Louise for a number of years, operated the digger from their wheelchairs to break ground on site and get the project officially started.
Designed by Tarpey Woodfine Architects, the new care facility will be known as The Denise Coates Foundation Building and will expand the invaluable service offered by the hospice to support those over the age of 19. Once complete in late 2018, the new centre will provide facilities for day care and overnight respite for young adults.
The three-storey building has been designed to meet the needs of young people cared for by The Donna Louise Hospice, to support them in their transition to adulthood and assist them with independent living. The building includes five bedrooms, all with ensuite facilities, as well as a communal lounge and adjustable kitchen. There will also be offices for staff and space to provide a wide range of physical and emotional therapies. The whole building will be fully accessible throughout including the newly landscaped garden area.
The creation of the Denise Coates Foundation Building ensures that the young adults who are so well served by The Donna Louise Hospice as children will be able to benefit from continuity of care, support and friendship in an environment specifically designed for them.
Professor Sue Read, Chair of The Donna Louise Board of Trustees, said “This is by far the biggest single change to the charity since it opened. We cannot thank the Denise Coates Foundation enough for this very generous support, which means that we can forge ahead with our plans to deliver a meaningful service to our young adults as soon as possible.”
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