WORK could start on a new children’s hospice at Brackenhall next July.
The West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust hopes to cut the first sod for the development off Fell Greave Road by 2010, but general manager Rob Wilde says it is all down to fundraising.
It will cost the charity £3.1m to build the hospice and respite centre.
Their appeal is now quickly gathering pace after hitting its halfway point.
There is almost £2m in the bank and a move to new offices in Bradley signals the start of a new dawn as thoughts turn to starting building work next summer.
Mayor of Kirklees Clr Karam Hussain opened the Trust’s new offices at Pennine Business Park, off Bradley Road.
Mr Wilde said: “It is all going really well.
“We are now more than half way to building the hospice and are hoping to smash the £2m target by the end of June.
“I really hope we will be cutting the first sod by next July, but it is all dependent on the money coming in.
“We also want to ensure we have the first year’s running costs of £1.5m in the bank too before we open the doors.
“We want to take a cautious but well thought out approach to make sure it all goes smoothly.”
As the Trust’s seven-strong office-based team settles into its new premises at Pennine Business Park, thoughts are now turning to expanding.
The 1,600 square-feet space offers room to develop a base for care services to help run the Trust’s centre and community support.
More volunteers are also being sought to work on the reception, answer phones and help run events.
Rob said: “It is a much better environment to work in.
“We now have a proper reception area for meeting visitors and guests.
“We are also hoping to develop more volunteer opportunities, particularly a reception team and a central events team.
“Basically, if people tell us their skills we will find a way to use them.”
A network of charity shops is being set-up to fund half of the hospice’s running costs.
With two shops already open in Lindley and Brighouse, the aim is to set-up a total of 25 over the next five years.
Rob added: “The shops are doing very well. We have two at the moment but we hope to have up to 25 in the five years to provide 50% of the running costs.
“The community fundraising is also going really well at the moment and we also get a lot of donations.”
The mayor performed the ceremonial ribbon cutting at Unit 14B, the Trust’s new home. The legal work was provided free of charge by Ramsden solicitors.