A WIRRAL children’s hospice is celebrating its 10th birthday.
Claire House, in Bebington, Wirral, serves 300 youngsters, providing invaluable care, support and facilities.
The charity is supported by Coleen Rooney, whose sister received respite care there.
Denis Mahony has chaired the hospice since its infancy, and is proud the charity is celebrating such a milestone: “We are holding lots of events this year at various locations to celebrate.
“The quest to open the hospice began in 1989, when no dedicated children’s hospices existed in England.
“In 1999 the original building opened, with six beds and three rooms for families.
“But demand grew all the time, and still is growing.
“There are now 10 rooms for patients and five for parents.
“It is an amazing organisation to chair, and our employees and volunteers do such a fantastic job.”
One such woman is 78-year-old Olwyn Jones, who has been a volunteer for the charity along with husband Ron since 1991, years before the hospice became a reality.
Her grandson, Sam, died at the age of three and a quarter after suffering brain damage at birth. The family were shocked at the lack of provision for both of them.
Mrs Jones, from Wallasey, said: “We were a very small group at the start, so it is wonderful to see how much the charity has grown.
“As a volunteer I help to fundraise for the charity.
“It is difficult to find new ideas and with the economy the way it is, it is tough.
“But local people have always been so supportive and continue to be. The general public help, but corporate funds are more difficult to attract now.
“I am very proud of what the charity has achieved, and what it gives to people.
“10 years is a great milestone to reach.”