Foundation donates to Alder Hey in the Park.
On a very wet day in early August the PFCF trustees and a smaller, more youthful Parry, were privileged to go on a tour of the new children’s hospital Alder Hey in the park in Liverpool. The visit was arranged to present the hospital with a grant for a personalised bedroom and for all the trustees to see the new building. We were fortunate enough to tour Alder Hey in the park in the company of its project manager, David Houghton and Louise Barrett and Jessica Carver from the fundraising team.
We’ve all visited hospitals before and not necessarily in the happiest of circumstances. So although we were looking forward to meeting the fundraising team and taking a tour, it was difficult to know what to expect. We shouldn’t have had any concerns.
The hospital feels nothing short of revolutionary.
Not simply as a hospital, but as an environment which has been so thoughtfully and comprehensively designed for everyone who will use it. From the curve on a corridor, to the coloured lights you can change by remote control, everything has been considered to make the space as welcoming, intuitive and accommodating as possible. Where the perfect sofa bed didn’t exist for parents staying overnight, the hospital team designed and created one. This is just one example of the way in which the project team’s care and insight has led to new innovation.
Curtains are decorated with specially-designed characters created by artist, Lucy Casson. These characters also feature in a jaw-dropping hanging sculpture in the main entrance hall – one of the many humanising themes which run throughout the hospital design. Other walls have been left as a blank canvas for children to create their own artwork, encouraging them to make the space their own. And as well as having the state of the art equipment you’d want in any hospital, there are extras: like the opportunity to feed the hospital fish electronically.
You might think that some of these things seem peripheral. But the hospital has been designed in close collaboration with its users – primarily children. David said: “When kids come in they lose control. So we felt it was important that they could control their environment.” This philosophy has inspired an amazing place, which considers not only the functional aspects of a hospital stay, but also the often neglected emotional and psychological elements – crucial if you are going to recover quickly. It would be great if everything was designed in this way. But if you were going to pick a place where people are most in need of feeling comfortable and in control, it would have to be a children’s hospital.
We’re very pleased that over the years hundreds of families will get to use the personalised bedroom in Alder Hey in the park. We know that their stays will be easier to handle and their recoveries quicker because of all the efforts of project team and Alder Hey’s Children’s Charity. If you’d like to read more about the impact of the PFCF grant to Alder Hey Children’s Charity, read our guest blog. You can also make your own donation here, if you’d like to help the charity raise the last £10 million of its £30 million target.