Delight as diggers get to work on new £10m EACH nook hospice at Framingham Earl
- Credit: Nick Butcher
On your marks, get set, dig.
The ground has been officially broken for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) new £10m nook hospice in the heart of Norfolk, which will replace its 26-year-old Quidenham base.
Three years after the appeal was launched by the Duchess of Cambridge, it has raised £7m.
In 70 weeks time - by March 2019 - EACH bosses hope the new purpose-built centre off Pigot Lane in Framingham Earl will be finished in preparation for children and families that summer.
EACH chief executive Graham Butland said: 'I always believed this day would come because of the need for a children's hospice like this here in Norfolk is so great. We are a lifeline for many children and families.
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'£7m is a tremendous amount to get to but we still need that extra £3m so people can see this phoenix rise from the ground.'
The nook will offer more space compared with the Quidenham hospice for palliative care to hundreds of youngsters with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
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But it will also offer the space for family support groups as well as music, art and play therapy sessions.
EACH staff also offer care in people's homes across Norfolk.
Mr Butland added he wanted the new hospice to offer the same 'tranquil' feeling families describe after entering the Quidenham grounds.
'The site has a beautiful outlook and is in a village environment. The support from residents has been fantastic,' he said.
The chief executive added the proximity to Norwich city centre - 15 minutes by bus - was a bonus because it made recruiting staff easier.
Judith Sykes, chairman of the nook friends group made up of 38 local residents, was chairman of Framingham Earl Parish Council when they learned EACH wanted to build the nook in the village.
'Today is a special day. When we were told it was going to be a hospice everybody was delighted,' she said.
Mrs Sykes added: 'The whole community is behind it. They will do anything that is needed.'
After forming in March 2015 the group has raised just over £68,000 for the appeal.
Mario Rackham, operations director of RG Carter, in charge of the build, said: 'It is fantastic to be involved in such a prestigious job.'
What will be included in the nook hospice?
A far larger care area than that at Quidenham, all on a single floor;
More areas for clinical care and improved medical and nursing equipment;
Activity areas for arts, crafts and play;
A hydrotherapy pool – something EACH has no space for at Quidenham;
A large, state-of-the-art sensory room;
A special quiet haven area for families;
Dedicated therapy rooms and a music studio;
Far more outside space for children to safely explore and play compared with Quidenham;
Facilities for family support groups, counselling, therapies and activities.
Speaking about the new hydrotherapy pool, Debra James, EACH physiotherapist, said: 'Having a hydrotherapy pool will open up so many possibilities to use the therapeutic, physiological and emotional benefits of the water to create special times and memories for our children and families.'
How to support the nook appeal
From buying a Christmas decoration to a virtual brick - there are many ways to support the nook appeal.
?The nook friends group - The volunteer fundraising group wants people to save loose change in collection boxes this winter. Contact Judith Sykes on 01508 494873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
?Buy a brick - People can buy a brick for £20, £100, £500 or £1,000 in memory of a loved one for a virtual wall. Visit www.each.org.uk/buyabrick?My £10 challenge - People can give up something that will save £10. Participants need to photograph themselves showing how they saved the money, sharing it on social media via #My10pound and donating via www.each.org.uk or by texting NOOK10 £10 to 70070.
?EACH Butterfly baubles - Intu Chapelfield in Norwich is selling 2,017 baubles for £30 or £35.
?To help with any form of fundraising call 01953 666767 or email email@example.com.