Work starts on West Yorkshire hospice

Work has started on a new £3m hospice in West Yorkshire after a decade of fundraising.

Children and young people from Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale will benefit from the Forget Me Not Trust hospice in Brackenhall, Huddersfield, which is expected to take about a year to complete.

The development will provide a free 'hospice at home' service 365 days a year.

The building will become the headquarters for the care teams and will include a sensory room, hydrotherapy pool and soft play area. Children and young people also have the facility to stay overnight.

Once completed, it will be the hub of the service offered to families by the Forget Me Not Trust. Services range from nursing care, play and sensory therapy to bereavement and sibling support.

There will be a teenage area and music room on the first floor along with administration offices.

The hospice will be named Russell House after Russell Senior, the little boy who inspired the charity, who is now 17.

Geoff Firth, president of the West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust, which led the fundraising, said: "After over 10 years of fundraising the Forget Me Not Trust is starting to build this much needed hospice and respite centre that will care for children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families. It is thanks to the support of the local community that the charity has got to this point and now is relying on this support to continue to ensure the long-term success of the care service.

"We seem to have had a long wait but at last our dream is starting to become a reality."

He added: "As part of the 'hospice at home' service, community-based care teams will provide services to children in their own homes as part of what we do, as will bereavement support to help during the incredibly difficult time when a child passes away.

"The West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust will provide all of these services 365 days per year, completely free of charge, to everyone in our communities, irrespective of social, cultural or religious backgrounds."