A hydrotherapy pool and sensory and movie room are due to be ready for use by the end of April at charity Reuben’s Retreat.
The latest renovations – phases four, five and six – were originally due to be completed by autumn last year but took longer as a result of the time needed to secure further funds for some building materials. Some of the building team are carrying out work on a voluntary basis.
The charity is now in the final stages of finishing its new wing for families of children with life-limiting illnesses at its headquarters in Glossop, Derbyshire, on the site of a former hospital.
As well as a pool, the new wing will also include a messy play room with a stage, a kitchenette and an office.
The cost of the latest renovations is around £784,000 to date, but is likely to reach £1 million once completed and fulled fitted out.
The retreat plans a series of open days to showcase work to date. Founder Nic Graham said: “It’s important everybody can see first hand where their support is going, I always say that everyone works so hard for their pennies, if they are kind enough to gift them, they should see who their pennies are going to and the difference they are making.”
The new pool will have a whole range of benefits for so many of the children the charity helps, she added.
“Many of the children we help don’t get the opportunity to use a pool. A hydrotherapy pool can help with their physiotherapy and gives them an opportunity to be in a pool with their siblings or family, which could boost parent/child confidence and closeness. It may be the only time a parent gets to hold their child due to their height, age or complex needs, meaning cuddles can be few and far between,” she said.
The charity is also now starting to plan the next round of renovations. Phases seven, eight, nine and ten will include a tea room, apartments upstairs and downstairs for families to stay at the retreat, and landscaping of the surrounding gardens. Design engineers Cundall and Day Architectural have both committed to working pro-bono, which will help to save the charity thousands of pounds.
Sensory room nearing completion
Fundraising has already started for these next stages but exact costings are not yet known.
Meanwhile, the charity has also formed its first three-strong support team to help deliver emotional and practical support to families using the retreat, in particular the newly renovated wing. In total the charity now has a staff of ten, up from five last year. Three new trustees have also been appointed to the board, which now has seven trustees in total.
The charity is urging supporters to donate £2 a week to help the charity via its website reubensretreat.org.
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