Breaking news! Construction work has started on our brand new independent Young Adults Accommodation

Our young adults, their families, staff and volunteers are delighted that work has begun on our new, more independent Young Adults accommodation.

Chester-le-Street firm, McCarrick Construction has been awarded the contract to build the £1.3m state-of-the-art accommodation, which is scheduled to take around 40 weeks.

The self-contained accommodation has been designed to promote more independence and a smoother transition for young adults with progressive, life-limiting conditions as they move into adulthood.

Holly Smith, Acting Matron of our Children and Young Adults Service and Edward McMahon, who benefits from short breaks at St Oswald’s Hospice, Young Adults Service, donned hard hats to mark the start of the new build project.

Talking about the difference the new accommodation will make to young adults with progressive life-limiting conditions, Holly said:

“We’re delighted that building work is now underway. This new accommodation is greatly needed for young adults in our region, as many of them are happily living beyond their expected years due to medical advances.

“We are one of the few places in the North East that can provide care for over 18’s with complex clinical needs. Creating this new, more independent accommodation, which will increase capacity and provide more autonomy for young adults in a safe, supported and caring environment is just wonderful for us all. It will make a huge difference to many young people’s lives.”

The accommodation will include two new bedrooms, a garden area, a living space, an accessible bathroom and wet room. It will also have its own ‘front door’ with private key code, perfect for late nights returning from the pub or cinema!

This project has been made possible primarily through the generous funding provided by the Winifred Futter Will Trust.

Chris Potts, of the Winifred Futter Will Trustees, said:

“We are delighted to support St Oswald’s Hospice in building their new Young Adults’ Accommodation. Miss Winifred Futter left a legacy with the desire to help people across the region.

“Both Win and her late sister were teachers, so we think they would have been happy to know that Win’s gift will greatly enhance the quality of life and independence of a group of young people who are currently very underserved. Win’s memory will live on through this fantastic, and much needed, new facility.”

Alongside McCarrick Construction, the Design Team consultants for the project includes, JDDK Architects, RNJ Partnership as Construction Consultant, Fairhurst as Consulting Civil & Structural Engineers and Armstrong Rhead Limited as Consulting Engineers for Building Services.

Keith Alderslade, Group Commercial Director, at McCarrick Construction, said:

“One of the chief pleasures of working in construction is knowing that our work directly benefits the needs of our community, and nowhere is this more evident than in this fantastic project for St Oswald’s Hospice.

“Our team is highly experienced in exactly this kind of work, so we are primed and ready to go – and are already looking forward to seeing the positive impact that this accommodation will have on the young adults who will use it.”

Edward McMahon, 20, from Hexham, has been coming to the hospice for short breaks since 2010, when he was six-years-old.

Edward has multiple and complex progressive, life-limiting conditions. This includes a severe form of epilepsy which causes frequent seizures, microcephaly a condition which means his head is smaller than normal because his brain didn’t develop fully. Edward also has Global Developmental Delay, which has prevented him from doing things like walking and talking.

Talking about the difference the new Young Adults Accommodation will make, Edward’s Mum, Sarah said:

“The new Young Adults Accommodation is so important because there are very few places for young adults like Edward to go. Some of the young adults might end up in old people’s residential homes, which is not great for them – or the other residents.

“Edward really enjoys his time at St Oswald’s Hospice, and it means that when he comes for short breaks, I can relax, and I don’t worry because I know he’s being so well taken care of.

“When Tim, Edward’s Dad died, the staff at St Oswald’s Hospice were so supportive. They took Edward for extra nights, so I could sort out things at home. They’ve always been a lifeline to our family.

“This new accommodation will make such a difference to Edward’s independence.”

Watch this space as we share updates about the progress of our young adults accommodation build!

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