The first of its kind in the UK and funded entirely by charitable donations, Magnolia House provides a safe-haven for parents and families at their time of need. Named because of the magnolia trees found in the hospital’s garden, Magnolia House sets the benchmark for palliative care across the UK, providing care for children and families living with terminal illnesses or those who have complex diagnoses and need help to understand and control their child’s symptoms.

The thoughtfully designed Magnolia House has three pastel-coloured private counselling rooms, a calming lounge area, a siblings play area and a private peaceful garden where families can sit and reflect. The roof of the building is covered with grass and embedded with twinkle lights to provide in-patients overlooking Magnolia House a scenic and magical view from the windows of the hospital.

Approximately 100 life-changing conversations take place with families and patients at Birmingham Children’s Hospital every year. Magnolia House offers a space where families can spend as long as they need together, before they feel ready to face the world again.

Prior to the construction of Magnolia House, difficult conversations took place in offices, empty cubicles or playrooms, with parents often moved back out onto the ward before they properly had time to digest what they were being told.

Speaking of how a support centre such as Magnolia House would have benefitted her family, mum Naomi said:

When we were first told the news about our son’s prognosis , we were unsure about where to go or who to turn to.  It would have made such a huge difference to our family to be able to go to a place away from the ward, to an environment that was completely separate from the hospital itself – somewhere that was more like a home-from-home.

It was hard for our family to be apart so much.  I had a six month old daughter when my little boy passed away, so to have had a space and people around us that understood exactly what we were going through would have been paramount at that point in time.

I think the care being offered by Magnolia House should be the benchmark for all hospitals.

      

Fundraising for this £1 million appeal was spearheaded by our near-neighbour Wesleyan.  The Birmingham-based financial mutual successfully raised £750,000 of the required £1  million total, thanks to more than 200 fundraising activities ranging from cake bakes to  the publishing of a children’s book, ‘The Unstoppable Maggie McGee’. The final £250,000  was raised through public donations. Magnolia House officially opens.