Funding shortfall could mean closure for Grace’s Place children’s hospice

Reporter: Jess Reeves
Date published: 04 July 2019

The much-loved children’s service, which serves Oldham, Rochdale and Bury may have to close due to lack of funding, despite only opening at the beginning of this year.

Their doors opened in January but lack of funding for the Forget Me Not Children’s hospice has seen a consultation for closure take place.

A shortfall of nearly £60,000 has meant the hospice has only been able to open on Wednesdays and Fridays- with alternate Saturdays offering day care.

A full hospice service is estimated to cost around £1.2m every year, which is what would be needed to keep the building, staffing and specialist equipment afloat.

The Oldham Chronicle have spoken to the CEO at Grace’s Place Luen Thompson who said, “When we were fundraising to get the place open, renovate the building and get the equipment that wasn’t a problem because people will give you things.

But trying to find money for running costs and staff costs is what we have found incredibly difficult.”

There are over 600 children living in Oldham, Rochdale and Bury with life-shortening conditions and families from the hospice will now have to travel further afield to receive their services.

Ms Thompson added, “People form relationships and get to know the staff, it’s a massive thing to give up the care of your child to somebody else- so that’s why people are now willing travel that little bit further to come to our other Huddersfield hospice. A lot of our staff work in both places, allowing current families to continue to get that support they need.”

The hospice has worked with 67 families across North Manchester.

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