Chancellor announces funding for Bereavement Support Centre at Alder Hey Hospital

Chancellor announces funding for Bereavement Support Centre at Alder Hey Hospital

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.

Comments (1)

  • Chris Lamb Avatar

    Chris Lamb

    The place I always believed that I would never have to go to because somehow a miracle would occur and my son Elliott would survive the condition he was born with. I saw so many parents coming and going from the Alder Centre. The same as ICU, The only place I ever felt safe in the knowledge that they knew Elliott just as well as I did and had the right equipment to treat him when he was poorly. But then that miracle didn't happen and on 15th December 2010 my world fell apart when Elliott flew to the angels. Grief is a lonely journey and even with the support and love of those closest to us it is not enough. Nothing makes any sense and the pain is both mental and physical. It's like walking into a room fulll of wires and being told you have to unravel them all before you can leave. Enter the Alder Centre. Donna was my counsellor and without her I can honestly say I possibly wouldn't be here today and with two more children and a beautiful wife. Donna as with all the counsellor listened. Really listened and helped me to unravel the cables, the shackles holding me frozen in time on 15 December 2010 when my life changed forever. Some days you just feel nothing. Just numb. Donna helped me to try to make sense of that. Helped me to cope day by day. It really helped me to talk. To learn to deal with simple questions like "how are you?" and not have to make something up to make others feel better. To learn to deal with the lifelong friends who would cross over the road or avoid contact me me because they didn't know what to say to me.
    I owe the biggest debt of my life to all those medical professionals who looked after Elliott through is four short years. They never gave in and he never gave up the fight. He lives on in all who knew and loved him. I owe so much to the Alder Centre for not giving up on me and for helping me to turn all the negative thoughts and energy into a positive. They helped to save me and I am forever grateful. New ways. Love Stays x

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