New hope for Grace’s Place children’s hospice

Plans to set up a children’s hospice in Bury are back on track after the supporting charity Grace’s Place received a donation of £150,000 from building company Seddon.

Seddon undertook the alteration and refurbishment of the old Bury Hospice site on Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, to convert it into a hospice for children. This was largely paid for with a £507,000 grant received by Bury Hospice from the Department of Health. Despite best efforts, Grace’s Place suffered a number of setbacks and found it was in debt by £359,000. It was therefore unable to cover the remaining building costs. Seddon has now agreed to donate the outstanding balance owed to them.

The Grace’s Place charity was set up in 2013 as part of a partnership between Bury Hospice and Pennine Care. The charity is managed independently by three trustees – Councillor Joan Grimshaw, Christine Joyce and John Schofield.

As spokesperson on behalf of the trustees, said: "Establishing a charity from scratch is incredibly difficult, especially during these troubled financial times. We have worked tirelessly to resolve the issues and reduced the debt through a number of means including VAT recovery. Public donations have been completely protected.

“Now that Seddon has kindly donated the outstanding balance owed for the building works, we can finally move forward. There are many children with a life limiting illness who live nearby but are having to travel far and wide to receive the treatment and care they need. This was the reason for starting Grace’s Place in the first place.

“We would like to thank our supporters, partners and especially Seddon for working with us during this difficult time and continuing to believe in what we are trying to do.”

Keith Waddington, director of Seddon, commented: “Providing children with life limiting illnesses in Bury and the surrounding areas with this vital care facility was the most important thing for us.

“We’re pleased to have achieved a resolution so that Grace’s Place can begin to provide the region’s young people with a high quality, comfortable environment.”

Supported by various external stakeholders, business consultants Grant Thornton has been commissioned to produce a revised business plan for the children’s hospice and a number of options are being considered. A further announcement will be made once plans are confirmed.