Alder Hey Children’s Charity has been awarded £1.4m to build a new, bespoke Child Bereavement Centre as part of Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, providing critical services to bereaved families who have suffered the loss of a child. The funding was announced today by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement.
The Alder Centre is dedicated to providing a comprehensive range of bereavement support services, tailored to the needs of those that have suffered the tragic loss of a child. The centre provides an emergency bereavement care service to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, for families in the immediate event of the death of a child, and also runs the National Child Death Helpline (NCDH) in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
Professor Michael Brown, Chair of the Alder Hey Children’s Charity, said: “We are delighted with the wonderful and generous support from the Chancellor of the Exchequer which will enable the hospital to rebuild the Alder Centre and thus continue its crucial and sensitive work. We are grateful for the outstanding support we have received in making this bid to the Treasury from our partner agencies and both local and national cross-party MPs.”
Antoinette Sandbach MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss, said “I was delighted to be the advocate in Westminster for the important work done by the Alder Centre, particularly its provision of bereavement care for parents in the North West, and it is great news the Centre will receive £1.4 million from the Government for its new building. I have worked hard with the Trustees of the Alder Hey Children’s Charity and this announcement is very welcome.”
The Alder Centre is not a mandatory NHS service and relies heavily on charitable funding; the service was originally established over 30 years ago by bereaved parents and concerned professionals and was initially run wholly by volunteers, all of whom had experienced the loss of a child themselves. This ethos still remains today.
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has invested in this highly-valued service by employing staff to work in partnership with the service and its many dedicated volunteers. Following the hospital’s move to new premises in October 2015, the Alder Centre was moved to temporary accommodation. The award of this funding now means that new, bespoke premises can be built to accommodate the Centre within walking distance of the hospital, providing privacy for those that it supports.
Alder Hey Children’s Charity compiled and submitted a bid for support of the new Alder Centre to HM Treasury’s LIBOR Grants programme earlier this year. Today’s announcement is the successful outcome of that bid.