Hospice for children begins to take shape

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SIX months ago it was an overgrown and muddy field near Brighouse - but now a new hospice for seriously ill children is taking shape.

Work is on schedule on the site of West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust’s £2.5 million hospice and respite centre at Brackenhall and charity organisers are delighted at the rapid progress. The building’s timber frame is now in place and internal work is well underway.

Head of fundraising Sarah Herrett said: “As soon as we started work on site last November the weather changed for the worse and we had all the snow and freezing temperatures. Fortunately it didn’t hold us up too much and building work is forging ahead. It’s very exciting to see the new hospice taking shape after all these years of planning.”

The new hospice is due for completion by the end of the year. The trust is already operating its hospice at home service helping and supporting 14 local families.

The hospice will be named Russell House in honour of Russell Senior, now 17, whose mum Linda started fundraising in 1999. Russell was born with a rare brain condition and survived many life-threatening operations as a small child. Linda’s experience of having to travel to the nearest children’s hospice in Wetherby made her determined to set up a charity to build one in West Yorkshire.

“We’ve always had very strong support from the community and, as the building takes shape, it is generating a lot of interest,” said Sarah. “We’ve really seen so much progress over the last few weeks and the spring weather has certainly been on our side. The hospice is going to be a stunning building.”

Supporters of the hospice and respite centre were given a talk on progress on the building by architect Ian Whitworth at the Holiday Inn, Brighouse. “We had an excellent update lunch and it was great to be able to tell our supporters how well the building is progressing,” said Sarah.