WORK on a children’s hospice for Huddersfield is a giant step nearer.
The West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust now own all the land on which it plans to build the hospice and respite centre.
The 2.8 acre site at Brackenhall is now in the hands of the trustees who have dedicated their time to acquiring the site from Kirklees Council.
Although it will be some years before the first bricks are laid, the trustees’ vision of creating a sanctuary for children with life-limiting illnesses is quickly becoming a reality.
Staff and volunteers at the Forget Me Not Trust said the acquisition means they can dedicate their time and efforts to raising more than £3m needed to fund the hospice build.
Rob Wilde, general manager of the trust, also thanked four key Huddersfield professionals who gave their time for free to ensure the land acquisition went ahead.
Mr Wilde said: “Today is a fantastic milestone for the charity now we’ve acquired the land.
“At the moment it is a barren field but when we get the hospice it will have the look of a country house, it will be very green and sustainable with landscaped gardens.
“It really will be a real child and family-friendly place to be.
“It might be a couple of years before people start to see work being done here, but although there are no bricks and mortar yet, there has been a great deal of work done already and we will keep on working hard.”
At the moment the land is an overgrown field bounded by trees and houses and filled with flowers and weeds.
But it will be transformed into a picturesque children’s hospice which will provide care for youngsters with terminal and life-threatening illnesses.
The trust will also provide a home care service to help children and families in their own homes.
Geoffrey Firth, honorary president of the trust, said: “We are here, we’ve got the land and now we can really push ahead.
“It is very important to have a children’s hospice here and it will be an asset to the estate, to Kirklees and to all the work that has been done and to all the people who have supported us.”
The trust’s board of directors, led by Martin Bradley, have been leading the land purchase with the help of four key professionals who spent their time giving free legal, surveying and planning assistance.
Andrew Keeling, planning consultant at Higham and Co, chartered surveyor Mike Dove from Dove Haigh Phillips, and solicitors Laura Pollard and Paul Joyce from Ramsdens Solicitors all backed the project with free advice.
Their hard work and dedication has meant the trust has saved precious funds.
Rob Wilde added: “We owe an enormous amount of gratitude to these people who have worked tirelessly on this land purchase.
“They have given their time free of charge and we are indebted to them.”
The trust has raised half of the £3m it needs to fund the build.
Over the coming months and years they need to raise the remaining £1.5m as well as running costs of around £1.5m every year.