Tuesday 17th December 2013

South East

Each year, around 100 young people are diagnosed with cancer across Hampshire, Dorset, the Channel Islands, South Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight and West Sussex. Across the UK, around seven are diagnosed every day.

Taking eight months to build and costing the charity £2.4million, this new state-of-the-art ten bed specialist facility now offers 16 to 24 year olds a place to receive treatment where they can feel a bit more at home.

Sarah, Duchess of York is a long term patron of Teenage Cancer Trust. Sarah, Duchess of York said:

I’ve been a Teenage Cancer Trust patron for over 20 years and I’ve seen it grow and lead the way in the treatment of teenage and young adult cancer. Christmas is a poignant time to be opening this unit as it reminds us that many families will be celebrating Christmas whilst bravely battling cancer in some way. This new unit will help so many young people and their families and friends face the toughest time together.

The new unit features six inpatient en-suite bedrooms with sofa beds for family and friends to stay overnight, as well as four day care beds. It has a large social room where young people can play pool, listen to music, play games consoles or watch films on the latest Smart TVs. There’s also a kitchen where meals can be cooked at all times of day and night, as well as a lounge for family members to take a break.

A group of young cancer patients worked very closely with the hospital architect to create some very unique unit features. These include an electronic fireplace in the bedrooms which can be changed to various scenes such as a roaring fire, a waterfall or a fish tank and photo collages along the corridors of local things they love like Bestival and Southampton Football Club. Even a piece of fake grass from the unit’s turf cutting ceremony which marked the start of construction has been incorporated.