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"We want to create a place that will be open and welcoming for families going through the most difficult experience and provide the best environment for staff and volunteers to give the practical and emotional support they need.”
Paul Monaghan, Director of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
In 2019, Alder Hey hosted a special event to celebrate its new bereavement and grief counselling centre and thank the families and donors who made this vital project possible.
Almost £2m has been raised towards the new Centre, which is set to be the first of its kind in the country when it officially opens next year.
‘A Place Like No Other’, the new Alder Centre will be the first purpose built building within the UK to house counselling services for all those affected by the loss of a child.
The new Centre will significantly enhance the current service, promote companionship and provide a much needed place of sanctuary for families during the most difficult time. Sitting within the wider Alder Hey in the Park campus, the facility will include therapy rooms, flexible recreational space and a number of holistic rooms, with each room having a view and access to communal gardens. In addition, an open access, large central space that is easily accessible on entry will enable families to drop-in easily for support when they most need it.
Building is underway on the new Centre thank to the support of families, local community and corporate supporters who have together raised nearly £2m for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
Graham Morris, Chair of Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: “As new Chair of this remarkable Charity I have been inspired by the stories of the many families, donors and supporters for whom the Alder Centre has provided vital support. It’s an honour for the Charity to play such a key part in creating something incredibly special and unique and which will make such a difference to so many families. We are extremely grateful to all those who supported us to deliver an Alder Centre that is a ‘place like no other’ here at Alder Hey.”
Peter Wong, Managing Director of Wong’s Jewellers, spoke about the first-hand experience he and his family have had of Alder Hey’s bereavement service and why he was keen to support the Charity’s fundraising appeal.
Peter Wong said: “Alder Hey is a fabulous place where children are treated and nursed back to health. Sadly, sometimes a child does not survive their illness or treatment and this is where the Alder Centre can help the family left with the pain and grief after a child’s death.
“When my brother, David, died in 1995 my parents Brian and Susan were left bereft and devastated by their loss. The mum of an ex-employee of theirs came in to see mum and dad because she too had lost her son and told them of the Alder Centre. It was at the Centre they met other parents in the same situation as them and through the Centre and the friendships they made they managed, bit by bit, to manage their grief. It is because of the support we received at this extremely difficult time in our lives that we as a family support Alder Hey and the new Alder Centre by raising money through our Wongs Winter Ball and other events.”
Fiona Ashcroft, CEO of Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: “We are extremely proud to have played a huge part in making the new Alder Centre a reality. It’s an incredible facility funded completely by charitable donations and one which will allow Alder Hey to support families going through the most difficult time. Thank you to all our fundraisers and supporters who have contributed towards this vital project. It’s going to make a real difference and we couldn’t have done it without you.”
Louise Shepherd, Alder Hey Chief Executive said: “The new Alder Centre is an important part of the Trust’s overall aim to provide outstanding care and support to our children, young people and their families. We are incredibly proud of our bereavement and counselling service which gives families invaluable support at what is the worst possible time and also offers our staff opportunity to access this vital support if they ever need it. The new Centre will ensure our Alder Centre staff and volunteers can continue to provide this incredible service within a facility they deserve.”
Dame Jo Williams, Alder Hey Chair added: “We greatly appreciate the support of Alder Hey Children’s Charity and the many families, volunteers, donors and supporters who have all made our new Alder Centre possible. I would also like to thank Antoinette Sandbach MP who was instrumental in our application to the LIBOR fund back in 2016, helping us to secure £1.4m towards this crucial facility.”
Antoinette Sandbach, former Member of Parliament for Eddisbury said; “I supported the new counselling service at Alder Hey because I’m a parent who lost a child and received support from here. So I really understand how important it is that parents get the professional support and help that they need. The Alder Centre is the perfect place for that. I was so pleased to be at the event today. Thank you to all the donors for sharing their loss today and supporting this vital project.”
The new Alder Centre sits within Alder Hey’s evolving health campus – Alder Hey in the Park – which supports vital collaboration with key partners, bringing together unrivalled expertise, knowledge and healthcare.
Comprising the Alder Centre and Alder Hey’s new world class research, innovation and education building, The Speakman Building, Alder Hey in the Park will also be home to a building devoted to community and mental health services providing round the clock support for those children who require care outside of a hospital environment. All this housed within the child-friendly environment of a park, a safe haven for young people to develop and play.
Alder Hey Children's Charity