Sunshine House re-opens in style

Sunshine House, a facility for children and young people with complex health needs, had a grand re-opening today after being closed for just over a year from being damaged in the floods of December 2013. The building is owned and operated by Humber NHS Foundation Trust and the project was delivered by Citycare Developments and developed by Sewell Group.

Alan Johnson, MP for Hull West and Hessle, cut a ribbon to officially open the centre, which provides short breaks and respite and has been extensively refurbished and redecorated. “I know some parents and families were worried about whether Sunshine House would re-open,” he said, “but the necessary work has been put in to make sure it’s worthy of the children it’s going to treat.”

“The staff here are just wonderful and a proper job has been done. It now provides facilities for those with the most complex health needs, provided in a way we’d expect and what we’d want for our own children should they need this type of care.”

Around 65 people attended the opening ceremony, including a number of families and children who use the Sunshine House facilities. Kelly Smith, whose 20-month-old son Brooklyn has a number of health problems, praised the service. “We’re just so happy, he’s so well-looked after and the staff are just out of this world,” she said. “I just can’t say enough about this place.”

Graham Lawson, Site Manager, Sewell Group, said, “This project has been a fulfilling and humbling one for me and the team to work on because of it’s importance to those people that use it from our community, therefore it’s fantastic to see it up and running and being celebrated. The community of Hull was vital in the completion of this refurbishment with around 95% of contractors being from the local area.”

Dan Simmons, Assistant Development Manager, Citycare, said, “Since the devastating floods we’ve worked hard with NHS Humber Foundation Trust’s estates team to get the facility up and running again and, where possible, improve the facilities. Sunshine House provides vital services for local children and families; it’s great to see the facility officially reopened today.”

Adrian Snarr, Director of Finance and infrastructure, Humber NHS Foundation Trust said, “It has been a pleasure working with design experts and specialists to make a number of enhancements that really improve the patient experience. We developed a new design scheme, improved lighting and replaced fixtures and fittings. We are particularly pleased to have installed a musical water bed with fine vibrations of rhythm, tone and beat produced through a powerful amplifier and picked up through the skin as tactile stimulations.”

City Health Care Partnership CIC’s chief executive Andrew Burnell praised the hard work of staff in keeping a home care service going while the refurbishment was underway. “It’s been a tough year but our colleagues have worked their socks off to continue to provide a service and I’d like to say thank you to all of them. I’d also like to thank Humber NHS FT, Sewell Group, CityCare, the Smile Foundation and everyone else who has helped to make Sunshine House the fantastic facility you see today. It’s great to be able welcome children and families back.”

Sunshine House has nine beds for children receiving respite care and short breaks, some with ensuite bathrooms. Thanks to fundraising by the Smile Foundation, it also has a state-of-the-art sensory room and a Forget-me-not room, allowing parents to say goodbye in their own time to children who have reached the end of their lives.