A pioneering Huddersfield charity is to open a second children’s hospice.
The Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, which runs a children’s hospice in Brackenhall, has announced plans to open a second hospice just over the border in Lancashire.
It will take over Grace’s Place, a children’s hospice in Bury, to serve Bury, Rochdale and Oldham.
Grace’s Place was originally due to open in 2014 to cater for the needs of more than 650 children in the Greater Manchester area living with life-shortening conditions. But plans stalled, leaving the vast majority of those families unable to access much-needed specialist care and support.
Forget Me Not was selected to restart the Grace’s Place project following an appeal by its trustees. Forget Me Not chief executive Peter Branson said he was “delighted” by the news.
He added: “In just a few short years we’ve built something to be rightfully proud of here in Huddersfield. We have an excellent reputation and the Care Quality Commission inspectors rated us as Outstanding.
“None of this could have happened without the extraordinary support of the people of Huddersfield, including our teams of staff and volunteers. It’s really thanks to our local community that the children of north Manchester can now benefit in this way.”
Russell House, on Fell Greave Road in Huddersfield, is a purpose-built hospice that offers palliative care for children and young people from across Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield. It opened in 2012.
The interim general manager for Grace’s Place will be Kirsty Franks.
Currently Forget Me Not’s communications director, she will run the site for a year and oversee the transition from the former trustees to its new owner. She is confident that Grace’s Place will be running a full service “within a remarkably short space of time."
“The waiting is now over in north Manchester,” she said. “We want to be looking after children and families from Grace’s Place as quickly as possible and they deserve the same superb standard of care and support as we provide in Huddersfield. We’ll be starting with a small number of services to begin with, ramping up as our new fundraising campaign allows. And I can reassure our supporters in Huddersfield that the hospice in Bury will be entirely self-funded.
“At Forget Me Not, our simple promise is that we always say ‘yes’ to the children and families who need us. It’s now time for families in Bury, Oldham and Rochdale to start experiencing that same magic of ‘yes’.”