Thanks to our generous readers, Trinity Hospice is truly fit for the future, offering palliative care and respite for children and adults across the Fylde coast.
Last Autumn Trinity bosses came to The Gazette asking for help in making both Trinity and Brian House children’s hospice a building that would meet the needs of poorly people, young and old, for the next 30 years and beyond.
They explained how windows were warped and couldn’t be opened, how most of the furniture was put in place when the hospice opened in 1985 and how the dark and dated corridors were in urgent need of a lick of paint.
At Brian House, the wardrobes needed replacing in children’s rooms, which also needed rewiring as updates in technology meant wires from television sets were within the reach of children.
Raising such a vast amount of money is no mean feat, but it’s a challenge The Gazette took on as we know how important our hospice is to the people of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
Within weeks of launching our Hospice Heroes appeal, work began on one half of the hospice – which remained open throughout the period of works.
“Closing is not an option,” facilities manager Simon Hellawell told is back in October.
And in March the first phase was unveiled, revealing bright corridors and family spaces, brand new single rooms with en-suite facilities and even a new hairdressing salon. It boasts a mural depicting scenes of Blackpool and colour-coded walkways to ensure older patients and those with dementia can get around easily.
At Brian House the kitchen was completely revamped, making it much more accessible for children in wheelchairs and inviting for the young patients who want to be involved in cooking.
The lounge area also boasts a huge under-the-sea mural, which all children seem to be fascinated with.
Straight away the second half of the hospice and the bedrooms at Brian House were sealed off so the final stages of the work could be carried out.
And excitement is building as the hospice prepares to reveal all to the public on Friday.
Mr Hellawell added: “The work has been right on schedule – to the very day – and this week marks the completion of the biggest modernisation and refurbishment in our 30 year history.
“The actual on-site building project took seven months but planning had been well underway for a long time by then, which enabled everything to be completed on time and to budget.
“Closure during the works was never an option, with patient welfare always being the prime consideration. This meant that occasionally noisy work was halted for a short time at the express request of a family or patient.
“That approach demanded flexibility from everyone concerned and this was no problem, thanks to the deep understanding in place between Trinity and the contractor R P Tyson, for whom nothing was too much trouble.
“It was a great partnership throughout.”
Clinical Director Julie Huttley said the staff at Trinity had been overwhelmed by the support of the community in helping making Trinity fit for the future.
She added: “The new environment is a true transformation creating an interesting, bright and modern interior and it has created an atmosphere of calm for patients and also staff.
“Patients are already benefiting from the improved facilities, giving them greater privacy.
“The Brian House refurbishment has created an enhanced space that is really modern, fun and uplifting for the children and their families.”