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Designs for new Alder Centre revealed

Designs for a new £1.4m dedicated bereavement centre within Alder Hey in the Park have been unveiled.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) have been selected to design the hospital’s new Alder Centre after beating off competition from a strong shortlist of companies and impressing judges with the ‘natural elegance’ of their design.

The new 310m squared facility includes therapy rooms, some flexible recreational space and a number of holistic rooms with every room having a view and access to the communal gardens. In addition a large central space easily accessible on entry will support the service in offering more of an open access approach to bereaved families to drop-in for support.  It will sit within Alder Hey’s evolving health campus and will create the perfect facility to provide a whole host of new and varied therapeutic services for bereaved families and hospital staff.

The Alder Centre is dedicated to providing a comprehensive range of bereavement support services, tailored to the needs of those that have suffered the tragic loss of a child. The centre provides an emergency bereavement care service to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, for families in the immediate event of the death of a child, and also runs the National Child Death Helpline (NCDH) in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

The Alder Centre is not a mandatory NHS service and relies heavily on charitable funding; the service was originally established over 30 years ago by bereaved parents and concerned professionals and was initially run wholly by volunteers, all of whom had experienced the loss of a child themselves. This ethos still remains today.

Early 2017, RIBA launched a competition for designs for the new Alder Centre after Alder Hey Children’s Charity was awarded £1.4m of funding for the project from the Government.

David Powell, Development Director, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust commented on the winning design:

“The Alder Centre is unique within the NHS so our brief was appropriately ‘to create a place like no other’. We were delighted with the proposals that were put forward and are grateful to all the bidders for their enthusiasm and efforts they committed to this project.

“Following an in-depth decision process involving Alder Hey staff, our development team and service users, we felt that AHMM’s design perfectly matched our brief. They have designed a building in-keeping with the exceptional design of our new hospital buildings but one that remains discreet and sensitively designed for its users. We look forward to working with them to turn our vision into a reality.”

John Armstrong, Director of Philanthropy at Alder Hey Children’s Charity said:

“We are delighted to see how the money we secured is going to be used. To see the new designs for the Alder Centre really brings the project to life and we look forward to the building work starting so that this important centre can continue its work in its own dedicated building.”

Paul Monaghan, director of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris said:

“It’s a great privilege to have been chosen to design the new centre. This project has special meaning for our team for all sorts of reasons, and especially for me as I was born and grew up in Liverpool. We look forward to working with the wonderful team at Alder Hey to design and deliver a building befitting the important work they do with children and parents. We want to create a place that will be open and welcoming for families going through the most difficult experiences, and provide the best environment for staff and volunteers to give the practical and emotional support they need.”

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