The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice provides a range of specialist care and support services for children with a shortened life expectancy and their families. We provide this care and support from our purpose-built house in Stoke on Trent.
The Early Days – Construction and Preparation
During the years following the establishment of the charity, massive fundraising efforts to raise capital to build the hospice began. A 2.42 acre site at the Trentham Lakes development was negotiated with Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration Ltd, a joint venture between St Modwen Properties Plc and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Trentham Lakes is an ideal location for the hospice, with excellent road links and easy access from the A34 and M6.
A generous offer was received from Gladman Homes based in Congleton, to design and build the hospice to our specification, at no cost. Construction of the hospice began in January 2002 and the shell of the building was completed by the end of October 2002.
At the start of 2002, a community nursing team was established and provided care to children and families in their own homes. This team now operate from the hospice building and continue to support children and families in the community.
By August 2003, the hospice building called “Treetops”, was complete, fitted and equipped, and we proudly opened our doors to families on 4th August 2003. In these early days, the hospice opened four beds four days a week. However, as the numbers continued to grow, it became clear we had to work towards opening 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and accommodating more than 4 children at a time.
We opened a further 2 beds and currently open Mondays to Saturdays, 24 hours a day. Our ultimate aim is to secure sufficient funding to open all 8 beds, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Running a children’s hospice service for Staffordshire and South Cheshire is a considerable undertaking, but continues to be urgently needed. We are confident that with the continued support of the general public, we can continue to support even more life threatened children and their families in the future.