Million pound makeover for Children’s hospice

16 Jan 2020 03:40
Published by: Daniel Almond


TOP class facilities including a sensory room, messy play zone and cinema have been unveiled as part of a £1.6million makeover at a local children’s hospice.

Seriously ill children will be able to make happy memories with their families thanks to the huge building refurbishment, officially launched today at Derian House Children’s Hospice.

The Chorley-based hospice has been looking after children and young adults with life-limiting illnesses from across the North West for more than 25 years.

Last spring it began a huge project to make the hospice “fit for the future” so it could continue to care for children with increasingly complex conditions for many years to come.

Walls were knocked down and the hospice was remodelled into a lighter, brigher and more flexible space, with the very latest technology added.

The work has transformed the building into a state-of-the-art facility which puts it at the pinnacle of children’s palliative care in the UK and will improve the respite and end-of-life care received by more than 400 children from the region.

  • The new PlayZone, sponsored by AO Smile, includes a large sensory room for both stimulation and relaxation. It also includes a large messy play area to allow children to unleash their creativity and make cherished keepsakes such as hand and footprints.


  • A new £100,000 cinema room will allow families to watch the latest releases together, with a popcorn and candy floss machine providing the finishing touches for an authentic experience.


  • A new accessible kitchen in The Lodge – the area of the hospice reseved for teenagers and young adults – will allow youngsters to bake or fix themselves snacks. This area has been sponsored by Red Sea Pedestrians.


  • A new sunflower suite will allow children to lay at rest before their funeral, to give families extra time to say goodbye.

Cutting-edge technology has been added to rooms to give the youngsters greater independence - including special sensors on doors for wheelchair users, smart speakers in all bedrooms, and a new kitchen with counter tops that rise and fall.

The completion of the new hospice building is the latest in a series of successess for the hospice, which was yesterday (15 January, 2016) officially rated Outstanding by Care Quality Commission (CQC). In October last year the charity also scooped a national award when it was named JustGiving Charity of the Year 2019.

David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “When we began drafting plans for the new hospice building we knew it would be good, but seeing it completed and watching how much the children and their families are enjoying the new facilities is quite overwhelming. We knew we wanted to lead the way in children’s palliative care and I am thrilled that our new facilities – along with the dediation of our staff and volunteers – allow us to do that. Derian House is now at the very pinnacle of care available to families. 

“Thank you to all of our donors who have made this wonderful refurbishent possible. It’s thanks to their kind donations that Derian House will be able to offer children from across the North West the very best care now and way into the future.”

Christine Francioli's four-year-old son Bruno has a rare genetic condition and is visually impaired. He comes to Derian House for respite and also accesses the Derian at Home service.

Christine said: "Derian House is a home from home for us. It is such a beautiful place and allows Bruno to do the things a little boy should be doing like going for a swim or playing on the park. Without Derian he wouldn’t have these opportunities.

"Bruno is very vulnerable and tends to pick everything up. He can't even go to school in winter because of all the bugs and so we stay at home a lot. Last week we came to use the new cinema room and couldn't believe how amazing it was. Bruno lay on a big beanbag and looked up at the lights on the ceiling and fell asleep while me, my partner and our daughter watched a movie. Being able to have that experience as a family without worrying was so good.

“Afterwards Bruno went into the new sensory room and spent time on the warm waterbed. It was perfect and we left feeling so refreshed. It was so nice to have a day out knowing it wouldn't result in a hospital stay because Bruno had picked up a bug."

Lynn Grayson, Clinical Director at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “Our fantastic new facilities will help us to improve the care we can offer to our families. The bright, colourful environment enhances overall wellbeing and allows our children to be children.”

David Wilkinson, Trustee at AO Smile said: “AO and all our people care greatly. This is reflected in a strong desire to support our local communities, with particular focus on improving the lives of young people. Derian House does an incredible job for children and their families going through unbelievably tough times, and reflects AO’s values. AO Smile Foundation is both proud and delighted to donate the Smile Play Zone, not only on behalf of the company but also recognising the fundraising efforts of all AO’ers.”


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