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Newly refurbished bereavement suite opens at CUH thanks to community donations
09 March 2017

A newly refurbished and extended bereavement suite was officially opened this week (Monday 06 March) at Croydon University Hospital thanks to a £50,000 donation by Al-Khair Foundation, an international humanitarian charity based in central Croydon.

Local charity, the Friends of Croydon University Hospital, also donated around £10,000 towards the improvement project.

The suite is provided by us so people who have lost a loved one can receive emotional support and find privacy while they grieve.

Following the refurbishment, the new area is much lighter and brighter, with new comfortable furniture and artwork on the walls, all designed to create a calm and tranquil space.

Key to the project was creating greater privacy for those who needed to escape the busy areas of the hospital. In order to achieve this, two offices were moved so the space could be extended and it now includes two additional private rooms that families can use as required.

The newly refurbished suite was officially opened by Trust Chief Executive John Goulston, accompanied by Imam Qasim Rashid Ahmad, founder of Al-Khair Foundation.

Opening the suite, John Goulston said: “When families lose a loved one, or people receive difficult news, it is vital there is a tranquil place where they can go to find privacy and spend time coming to terms with what has happened.

“We are so pleased that our community has come together and been so generous in their donations to make sure we can offer people the comfortable and calm facilities they deserve when going through the most difficult of times.”

Imam Qasim Rashid Ahmad said: “We are delighted to be able to help create a new, bereavement suite which will have benefit across the borough.

“The facilities were inadequate and added extra stress at a very sad and difficult time. The surroundings and the service have to be sensitively handled and we are sure the new suite will help and be appreciated. Initial feedback has been excellent.

“I am very proud to see first-hand what has been achieved. We are increasing our work within the UK and I am sure this won’t be the last project we support in the Croydon area.”

Vicki Palacio, Honorary Chair of the Friends of Croydon University Hospital said: “The Friends were delighted to donate to the project, to fund the furnishings and paintings. The new Suite offers much more privacy and respect to those who are grieving, as well as a much better environment for the staff working there. We are very pleased to support this important aspect of the Trust’s work.”

Trevane Wallbank, a chaplaincy volunteer at the hospital who has supported bereaved parents, said: “To lose a child is so difficult, and so terrible, that to have somewhere as comfortable as this can make a real difference to the families in our care.”

Caroline Adams, Advanced Nurse Practitioner for end of life care added: “We are just so very grateful their generosity and support. When someone dies in a busy hospital, the Bereavement Suite offers privacy, dignity and the quiet place that you need to start to come to terms with the loss of a loved one and begin to plan your next steps.”

The suite is located on the ground floor of the Woodcroft Wing at Croydon University Hospital. It is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm. As well as offering emotional support to those who are grieving, staff in the suite and the Trust’s chaplaincy team are also on hand to offer practical advice and guidance about any arrangements that might need to be made.

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