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EDITIONS
Thursday, 30 January, 2003, 20:51 GMT
Bristol could get children's hospice
Siobhan Sayers and her son Everol, who has spina bifida
Mrs Sayers is delighted at the plans for a hospice
Bristol could be about to get its own children's hospice.

At present sick and disabled children from the city have to travel to Devon for respite care.

But supporters want to try to raise 10m to build a new unit much closer to the city.

If the plans are given the go-ahead, the hospice - which is to be built on the Tyntesfield estate at Wraxall - could be open in two years.

Little Bridge House hospice in Devon
Children from Bristol have to travel to Devon

Eddie and Jill Farwell set up the Little Bridge House hospice in Devon in 1995, but they soon realised demand was so great another one was needed for Bristol.

Mrs Farwell said: "We know of families in the Bristol area who can't get to Devon because of the distances involved.

"There is a need for a new children's hospice in the area to make sure all the families who need it can have access to respite care - this is an ideal location."

They are hopeful planning permission will be granted for the project on the outskirts of the city.

Siobhan Sayers, from Bristol, currently has to drive to Barnstaple to take her son to the nearest hospice.

Everol was born with a severe form of spina bifida and given just weeks to live - he is now 17.

Closer to home

He cannot walk or talk and to give his parents a break from caring for him, they must drive two-and-a-half hours to Little Bridge House.

Mother-of-five Mrs Sayers said: "The hospice is incredible - as soon as I get to the front door I think: 'Here I am - now I can have a break.'

"The first time we went there, I said to my husband: 'If there's a heaven on earth, this would be it.' That sums it up."

She is delighted at the plans for a new hospice much closer to home.

If the proposals are given the go-ahead, the Bristol hospice could be open for visitors by the end of 2005.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Janice Armstrong reports
"If it gets the go ahead, it could be open by the end of 2005"

Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

29 Jan 03 | England
29 Jan 03 | England
27 Dec 02 | England
10 Dec 02 | Scotland
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