Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of local traders, suppliers and volunteers, the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital’s NICU Big Build project is nearing completion, with just the kitting out and home furnishings to be provided.
Launched in February, the NICU Big Build project sent out an appeal to local tradespeople to help renovate a three bedroom house to provide accommodation for parents whose babies are being cared for on our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Over the last four months, the property has been completely refurbished. Major donations have included a new roof, a complete set of new windows, a conservatory, bathroom/wet room and a fitted kitchen. The house now boasts five bedrooms, a kitchen, wet room/bathroom and a small garden space which will be available for those parents with babies on the unit who live far away from the hospital.
The last stage of the project – to furnish the house – is now underway and an appeal is being launched for items such as beds and bed linen, bedroom furniture, kitchen supplies and general home furnishings.
Bianca-Lee John, Community Fundraiser, said: “When we put out the call for help back in February we had no idea of the magnitude of support that we would receive. In just 24 hours we had more than 70 traders come forward to offer their time and skills for free! To see the transformation of the property in such a short space of time has been inspiring and that is all down to the kindness and generosity of local people.
She added: “When the house is finished, we will have two properties able to support up to 420 families a year which is phenomenal. We will be inviting all the volunteers, suppliers and families back for a grand opening to celebrate and say thank you.”
On the website you can also see how the project has developed over the last four months, together with a full list of people who have been involved with the NICU Big Build.
To families of all our patients, we wanted to give a reminder that sadly, at both Bedford and the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, we are still unable to allow any visitors on site, unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example in maternity or children’s departments, or for those patients who are receiving palliative treatment at the end of their lives, on a case-by-case basis.
At Bedford changes are being made to support services and we would now ask that, from Saturday 6 June 2020, you contact the wards using the direct lines found here.
For the Luton & Dunstable, we are offering a dedicated Next of Kin helpline for family members who want to check up on their loved ones – please nominate one family member to call 01582 718884 between 8am and 6pm.