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Teenagers to benefit from £6m gift


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TEENAGERS from Berkshire will benefit from a £6m grant thanks to a retired surveyor who left the money to Naomi House children's hospice in his will.
Naomi House has decided to spend the money on a new purpose-built hospice just north of Winchester that will cater for teenagers with life-limiting conditions.
The hospice will be only the fourth of its kind in the entire country.
The £6m was bequeathed by Southampton businessman Jack Witham, who amassed his fortune in property and died in 2004, just one day before his 80th birthday.
Naomi House chairman, Professor Khalid Aziz, said: “We are launching a £12m appeal – to build equip and run the new building at the charity's existing site in Sutton Scotney.
“We are already supporting 30 Berkshire families with a full residential hospice service, which means we provide respite, end of life and bereavement support.”
Director of Fundraising, Jane Tabor said: “We really hope that everyone in the Berkshire community, and in particular new supporters, will want to be part of this exciting phase in our future. We will be unveiling ways for people of all ages to get involved in the coming months and are sure that there is something for everyone – literally every penny counts!”
The design of the new building incorporates ideas and suggestions from young people who currently use Naomi House to ensure it will meet their medical, mobility and emotional needs.
Jackspace@naomihouse will house ten bedrooms for young people and their families.
A Butterfly suite will allow families to stay with loved ones after their death to say goodbye and make the necessary arrangements.
The hospice will be used by young people with conditions such as Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy and metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders.
The charity estimates it will cost around £1.5 million a year to run.

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