Sale Agreed of School Land to Build Hospice; Charity to Offer Terminal Illness and Respite Care for Babies and Tots Aged Up to Five

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Byline: By Sian Powell

PLANS to build a hospice for the very young have been advanced after Warwickshire County Council agreed to sell off surplus school land.

The charity, Zoe's Place, which provides palliative and respite care to parents of children with life-threatening illnesses, can now build a small hospice on land at Exhall Grange School after councillors agreed its proposals at a meeting.

It is now looking to submit planning permission to build a five-cot hospice on the site in Wheelwright Lane, Ash Green, to cater especially for babies and young children aged up to five.

Charity chiefs hope the new building - which could be ready by March next year - will feature a sensory play room and will have its own small, landscaped garden.

Vicki Partridge, the charity's appeals director, said Zoe's Place already had two hospices - one in Liverpool and another in Middlesbrough.

She said the pounds 600,000 facility would provide 24-hour respite care for parents on a short term basis - from as little as one day up to two weeks.

It would also provide terminal illness care for families and would include a small flat for parents to stay in.

She said: "It's amazing how much of a difference just a day or weekend break can make to the parents. It might not seem that much to people but if you are looking after a sick child 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to have a weekend to yourself is amazing. …