Construction work has begun on an extension that will offer parents a ‘home from home’ while their babies are being cared for at the Lister Hospital.

A ground-breaking ceremony on Friday 10 July marked a major milestone for the Lister Neonatal Big Build Appeal.

The £410,000 fundraising appeal was launched by the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity and Lister Neonatal Unit Families Group in August 2018. It has so far raised £350,000, enabling building work to start.

The expanded room will increase capacity to allow more families to use the space, from six people to 30 (when social distancing restrictions allow).

It will include a designated play area for siblings, accessible gardens to relax in, and cooking facilities for parents to use. The Big Build will also include new showering facilities for partners of new mothers in maternity and on the neonatal unit.

Friday’s special event, which saw the first spades being dug into the ground, was attended by representatives of the charity, families group and the hospital trust.

Glyn Doggett, chairman of the families group, said: “This is going to change the experience for parents beyond anything we could possibly imagine. There will be so much space, it will look so much nicer and there will be cooking facilities.

“I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has donated, and to the charity and hospital staff for supporting all of us in the families group through the appeal.”

Deloris Brown, Nursing Services Manager at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “Many of our parents spend hours with us on the neonatal unit by their baby’s side. It can be extremely stressful, so to have somewhere they can go to relax for a short period of time will be of enormous benefit.

“The new families room will make such a massive improvement to the quality of care and the parents’ experience while they are with us.”

Building work is being carried out by Stroods Specialist Contractors and is due to be completed in October.

We are now spearheading a renewed drive – under the social media hashtag #BigBuildFinalPush – to raise the remaining £60,000 to fund interior fittings, the garden area and extra comforts. See below for how you can donate to the appeal.

PHOTOS: Top, the Lister Neonatal Big Build extension ground-breaking ceremony. From left, Deloris Brown (Nursing Services Manager). Glyn Doggett (Lister Neonatal Unit Families Group chairman), Nick Carver (East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust chief executive), Lauren Paine (Families Group committee member), Jonathan Kefas (Neonatal Consultant). Above, the first spades go into the ground.

How to donate to the Lister Neonatal Big Build Appeal

You can support our #BigBuildFinalPush in the following ways:

  • Donate online. Click here >  
  • Give money via text.
    To donate £5 text BIGBUILD 5 to 70085
    To donate £10 text BIGBUILD 10 to 70085
    To donate £20 text BIGBUILD 20 to 70085
    Texts cost your donation amount plus one standard rate message and you'll be opting in to hear more about our charity's work via SMS. If you'd like to donate but do not wish to receive marketing communications text BIGBUILDNOINFO followed by your amount to 70085. 
  • Call 01438 285182 to make a card payment
  • Hold your own fundraising event or activity. Set up an online fundraising page here >