Sale Agreed of School Land to Build Hospice; HELP: Charity to Offer Terminal Illness and Respite Care for Very Young

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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 land at a school near Coventry.

The charity, Zoe's Place, which provides palliative to children with life-threatening illnesses and respite care for their parents, 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. …