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Staffroom Make-Over for NHS Staff at Leeds Children’s Hospital

Hard working NHS staff at Leeds Children’s Hospital have been treated to two new staffrooms thanks to children’s cancer charity Candlelighters, nationwide interior design and fit-out business Claremont and communications agency CDS.


Children’s cancer charity Candlelighters orchestrated the project and called upon local organisations to help renovate the staffrooms within the hospital’s children’s oncology department, to support 200 healthcare workers’ emotional wellbeing.


Refurbished for the first time in 12 years, the tired staffrooms have been given a colourful overhaul with new wall graphics, kitchen, storage, lockers, and comfortable seating areas.


It took a team of 19 people from Claremont 42 hours over four days to transform the two 400 sq. ft staffrooms into relaxing and well-equipped spaces for staff to relax and recharge.


Emily Wragg, chief executive at Candlelighters said “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with CDS and Claremont to create and deliver two brand new staffrooms for the NHS staff. We’ve worked alongside the hospital teams for the last 45 years and we know how tough their day-to-day roles are, and particularly how the pandemic has impacted them. It has been so important to give them the space they need to take a break, eat, and relax. We’ve been absolutely blown away by the commitment and professionalism of CDS, Claremont, and their contractors, who all at absolutely no cost to the charity or the hospital, have delivered two outstanding staffrooms that are an absolute world away from what they were like before. We can’t thank them enough.”


Julie White, Candlelighters lead nurse for Children and Teenage Cancer at Leeds Children’s Hospital said: “It’s been a tough time for staff following the pandemic – and morale has taken a real hit.  This refurbishment has made a huge difference to our working environment and encourages staff to allow themselves more exceptionally precious downtime.”


Claremont’s team spent several weeks designing the project prior to refurbishing the space.   Sarah Syson, design manager at Claremont, which delivers office interior design projects for businesses across the country, said: “The team at CDS first mentioned the Candlelighters’ project to us in 2021 when it was their charity of the year.  They asked us to design a space that would deliver on feedback they’d gathered from children, parents and staff and we were only too happy to help.  With input from the hospital, we felt the staffrooms should be our focus as they provide a vital wellbeing space for staff.


“This has been a very rewarding project and we worked closely with the hospital, Candlelighters and our supply chain, who have shown tremendous generosity throughout. It’s been a special experience for our team too, all of whom gave up their weekends and rolled-up their sleeves because they wanted to make a difference.”


Thanks to Claremont’s supply chain, most materials, fixtures and furniture were gifted. Flooring was supplied by Milliken and fitted by SD Pare, paint was supplied by Kindecs along with graphics installation, kitchen cupboards and accessories were donated by WREN Kitchens with additional joinery items supplied by Compass Interiors, TV screens were supplied by Viewpoint and chairs were gifted by Boss Design.  Graphics were designed by CDS, part of the Bailie Group and supplied by Artworks.


Adrian Mullen, creative director at CDS said: “The NHS and Candlelighters teams provide invaluable support for those facing childhood cancer in the region – but who supports them in turn? After two of the hardest years in healthcare, when taking a break during a shift, these hard workers deserve a space to themselves which allows them to take some time out away from the harrowing day-to-day.”


Michelle Kite, matron for Children’s Haematology and Oncology, who the new staffrooms were officially handed over to, said: “Our colleagues work incredibly hard, in the most challenging of circumstances, in order to provide the best care possible to children, young people and their families – and having a space like this to take a moment makes a real difference.  A huge ‘thank you’ to Candlelighters, CDS, and Claremont and everyone in-between, for making this happen. They have given the hospital, staff, children, and their families a tremendous gift. We are very grateful.”


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Richard Merrick and Sarah Syson from Claremont, NHS Staff Rachael Newby and Michelle Kite and Emily Wragg, Candlelighters CEO.

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About Candlelighters Candlelighters is a charity established in 1976 that provides emotional, practical and financial support to families across Yorkshire affected by childhood cancer. They understand the complexities and impacts of a childhood cancer diagnosis, and work hard to help ordinary families through extraordinary circumstances – right from diagnosis and for as long as is needed, wherever that help is needed, whether on the ward, at home or in the community. Candlelighters also invest in childhood cancer research to bring about a brighter future for children diagnosed with cancer. About Claremont Claremont is one of the UK’s leading office interior design, fit-out, furniture and technology companies and delivers workplaces that motivate and inspire. Delivering projects across the UK from its offices in Warrington and Bristol, Claremont offers a full range of commercial and office interior solutions including workplace analysis and consultancy, office space planning and interior design, fit-out, refurbishment, office relocation, furniture supply and installation as well as the integration of audio visual, multimedia, and wireless technologies. About CDS Multi-award-winning agency CDS enables strategic change in large complex organisations and has earned the trust of many of the UK’s most important institutions for delivering no-fail solutions vital to the UK’s health, wealth, and safety. The firm’s 170-strong team of subject matter experts enables change across digital, insight, content, data and print challenges in pursuit of improved outcomes. Clients include the NHS, Bank of England, Cabinet Office, Transport for London, and large private-sector companies such as Insight Investments. About Leeds Children’s Hospital Leeds Children’s Hospital is one of the UK’s largest specialist children’s hospitals offering a wide range of treatment and care for children from birth to young adulthood and beyond. Our ambition is to be a globally recognised, leading provider of healthcare for children and young people; engaging with our patients and their families to make our services and their experience the best they can be. Our holistic approach focuses on ensuring that children receive the best possible clinical care whilst supporting them to live their best life and to achieve their key milestones. Leeds Children’s Hospital operates 27 highly specialist services, which constitutes around 67% of the hospital’s total activity. More than 62,000 outpatient appointments are held each year and there are approximately 22,600 inpatient episodes. As a specialist centre, the Children’s Hospital also runs outreach clinics at 22 hospitals across the North of England.

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