THERE’s a rattle snake on the loose in the lounge and a Champions League football match going on in the corridor... and the children at Brian House Children’s Hospice are loving it!
Generous donations have allowed the Bispham-based hospice to refit its teenage lounge and main corridor with the latest gadgets and gizmos – many of which would look perfectly at home in a seafront arcade.
The technology is being used to enable the children to interact better than ever with sight, sound and touch.
There are ceiling projection systems which run computer games, including football, in large format on the corridor’s ‘magic’ carpet; light and sound systems, which can be programmed in dozens of different ways and even indoor water features which bubble all day long.
Much of the money for the stunning new addition was donated by the family of Grace Turner, a six-year-old who was a frequent visitor at Brian House.
Little Grace, from Hambleton, had Rett’s Syndrome and she died on Christmas Eve, 2010.
Her loving family set up Team Turner, a fundraising projected devoted to helping Trinity and Brian House, to put something back for the high quality care Grace received there.
Grace’s mum Lisa, dad Steve and Team Turner have been the driving force behind the refit of the corridor, providing £26,000 funding.
Altogether, over the last two years, they have raised a staggering £31,000 for Brian Hospice.
And Lisa, her family and friends visited the new facility to see for themselves what a difference their generosity and hard work has made.
She said: “The opening of the corridor was a very proud occasion for not only myself, my husband Steve and Grace’s sister Isabelle, but all our supporters.
“Each and every one of them astounds me with their generosity and continual support.
“Sister Lorraine first told me of her vision for the corridor when we were living at the hospice and I remember telling Grace how wonderful it was going to be. I knew it was something Grace would have loved, and because of the width of the corridor it would have been something Grace could have accessed while in her favourite place, her bed.
“When Grace passed away, sister Lorraine inspired me to fulfil my fundraising aspirations and we soon realised the money needed to transform the corridor was achievable, and the reality of succeeding is overwhelming. From the bottom of our hearts, it’s the most amazing legacy we could have imagined for our beautiful baby girl.
“Steve and I would like to thank our family and our supporters and their families for their unwavering commitment. I’d also like to thank my very special friends Louise O’Toole, Stacey Van Bogerijen and Leah Sweatman for their hard work helping me coordinate. Special hugs and thanks go to Jade and Violet’s families, who helped make our dream come true.
“We can never repay the dedication, compassion and care Brian House shared with us and I can’t put into words how important and necessary the hospice is – it helps make heartbreaking journey a little more bearable.”
Sister Carol Wylde, of Brian House, said: “We needed to update our equipment and wanted to make the best use of technology to give the children a very exciting play experience.
“The corridor is now a fascinating place, where you see something new every time you go down there.
“The magic carpet is very popular. The teenage lounge is a fantastic chill-out space with modern furniture, a floor to ceiling projection wall and the sort of sound and light system many teenagers would love to have in their bedrooms. It’s no exaggeration to say the transformation has been amazing.
“It has been a real team effort, and we are so grateful for all the help we have had. The contribution made by Grace’s family has been truly amazing.
“Many of our children find it hard to interact and to enjoy traditional games, and this specialist equipment can be very expensive to buy and install, but it has made an incredible difference. Now we really have something for everyone, including youngsters who are visually-impaired.”
For more details about Team Turner, contact Lisa Turner on 0773 4757211, search on Facebook for Angel Grace Fundraising or firstname.lastname@example.org