Unveiling of modern cottage used by patients loved-ones

Release Date: 03/07/2019

Unveiling of modern cottage used by patients loved-ones

A cottage that provides refuge for the loved ones of long-term patients at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital has been unveiled following a major renovation.

The building has long been used by family and close friends of patients needing support at a time of personal trauma, such as a serious spinal injury or treatment for a bone cancer, but had started to look old and dated.

It has now been transformed thanks to a £16,000 investment by the League of Friends to the Oswestry-based hospital, who also managed the project with the expertise from Trustee Veronica Lillis.

Veronica, who has considerable property management experience and knowledge, said: “The cottage was last updated around 25 years ago so a major refurb was really overdue and our aim was to provide a calming environment for the families of patients.

“It has been completely upgraded, modernised and enhanced to be brought into the 21st Century.

“I’d like to say thank you to the RJAH Estates and Facilities team for providing a remarkable amount of support to the project and to all the businesses who contributed – AH Building and Property Services, JMF Flooring, Shannon Sales in Chirk, Oswestry Framing and Direct Blinds Ltd.”

The cottage is used by families of patients on the spinal injuries unit who have experienced life-changing injuries, or Oswald Ward – the hospital’s purpose-built oncology ward which treats bone and soft tissue cancers.

Victoria Sugden, Charity Director of the League of Friends, said: “We are delighted to have invested in the renovation of the cottage.

“We are also indebted to Veronica; she has brought her tremendous experience and knowledge to the scheme, took on the responsibility of managing the project and invested a lot of time and effort.

“Our overall aim was to spend as little as possible but still receive a maximum result, and that would’ve been impossible without the support from the local community.”

A special ribbon cutting ceremony was held yesterday afternoon to officially open the cottage with representatives from the Trust and League of Friends in attendance.

Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive said: “I’d like to thank the League of Friends for funding and managing this project, and also our Estates and Facilities team for supporting the project.

“It’s really important we look after the families of our patients, especially when they are going through a really difficult and challenging time, having to adjust to life-changing circumstances.

“Giving them somewhere safe and comfortable to stay takes away one of the pressures they are facing, freeing them to support their loved ones.”

Pictured is the official opening of the Relatives Cottage.

From left to right - Heather Thomas-Bache, LoF Office Manager; Victoria Sugden, LoF Charity Director; Jeanette Vincent, a user of the cottage due to her partner being a patient on MCSI; Peter David, LoF Chairman; Veronica Lillis, LoF Trustee; Mark Brandreth, RJAH Chief Executive; Violet Bowen, Housekeeping Supervisor; and Jason Kear, Estates Manager. 

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