THE HOSPICE is built, the children are coming – but there’s currently nowhere for their families to sleep.
After more than a decade of fund-raising, Huddersfield’s £2.1m Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is expecting its first residents in the new year.
Now the charity is appealing for one last push to fit out an empty space earmarked for family accommodation.
Hospice chief, Peter Branson, said they hoped to install two bedrooms and a lounge area for relatives.
Mr Branson said because they had begun supporting terminally ill children in their homes as well, they had run out of cash to complete the Brackenhall building.
He said: “We have a big empty space above the children’s bedrooms that we hope to make into familybedrooms.
“When we built the building we found we couldn’t afford to fit it out, so there’s a huge void.
“It’s really important because when we have families here for respite care we need to give them the choice to stay with their child.
“So it’s really, really important that we get this done as soon as possible.
“We’re going to have to raise the money, the problem is we haven’t costed it out to the last penny yet.
“But we know it will run to the hundreds of thousands.”
Hospice founder Linda Senior, who kicked off fundraising 15 years ago, said she wanted to see the job finished.
Mrs Senior was forced to go to Leeds’ Martin House Children’s Hospice to find help for her son Russell.
The Ainley Top mum said: “I started it off because of the lack of care in the area.
“It’s been a long time coming and it’s very good but I just want to see it finished. If we can get the money we really want it to open for next year.”
Mr Branson said they would welcome any businesses that could help with fitting out the room or providing furnishings.
And he said companies should be re-assured that the charity was now up and running, helping families in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield.
He added: “We’re already delivering a service, the fact is it’s real.
“We have a building and we’re on the verge of welcoming children.
“So anything they give us goes straight to helping children now.
“We’re already helping 30 children in their homes and that increases by one a week.
“We’re really clear on our commitment to doing that.
“We know there’s more than 400 children and families that need the support we bring.
“My aim is to never be in the situation where we have to turn a child away”.