The Nook’ at Framingham Earl is the result of a shared vision to transform children’s palliative care in Norfolk and North Suffolk. It was a £10 million vision supported by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, which required a team effort from many different quarters to overcome challenges in funding, designing and constructing the much-needed, purpose-built hospice.
Architects Barefoot & Giles worked closely with East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH), as well as drawing on previous experience to develop an outstanding design based around the needs of the children, families and staff that would use the hospice. RG Carter worked collaboratively in the later stages of design and throughout construction to help realise this vision, as well as actively supporting the Nook Appeal.
This transformative open-plan facility offers large and well-equipped en-suite bedrooms for children and young people, en-suite family accommodation and expansive outside space to safely explore and play. All this combines with extra family support groups, counselling, one-to-one therapy and general activities to deliver the highest level of care that the charity has ever achieved.
‘The Nook’ will fulfil many different functions for EACH as it will provide a regional base for palliative care and respite care as well as a regional training area for staff, an administrative centre, a regional centre for physiotherapy and a venue for fund-raising. Each of these disparate functions had to be combined into a single floor layout whilst preserving the privacy and security of the resident children. Fortunately, the generous 5-acre site allowed for, effectively, a ‘blank canvas’ where the optimum arrangement of spaces and activities was possible.
The building contains areas which are open to the public, such as the hydrotherapy suite and physiotherapy rooms. In addition, conference/training areas can be combined with the dining area and outside terrace to provide a fundraising venue capable of entertaining up to 150 guests with a space for a marquee on the terrace.
In summary, ‘The Nook’ will make a significant contribution to the welfare of families in the region providing palliative and respite care and giving access to unique facilities such as a very highly sophisticated sensory room, a hydrotherapy suite containing a large fully-immersive and fully-accessible pool together with facilities for music and art therapy.