ZOË’S Place Baby Hospice has pledged to stay open and continue caring for critically ill babies during this second lockdown.

The announcement comes after the charity was forced to close its doors for five months from the end of March to the beginning of August, in response to Covid-19 restrictions.

The news of the hospice at Crossbeck House in Normanby remaining open during this second lockdown will come as a welcome relief as recent research showed that 78 per cent families who use its services said they wanted to continue to do so during lockdown.

Many families that seek help from Zoë’s Place rely on the day care and overnight stays the charity provides to catch up on sleep, run errands or catch up with friends, albeit virtually.

They can do this whilst safe in the knowledge that their children are safe with experienced and trained professionals.

However, what was once a 24/7 operation with six cots occupied is now reduced to three to four days/nights a week, with no more than three children in the hospice at any one time.

The Northern Echo:

Zoe's Place Baby Hospice at Crossbeck House in Normanby Picture: Google

This service, which is offered free to those families who desperately need palliative, respite and end-of-life care, comes at a cost of £25 per child, per hour, which the charity cannot meet without the help of fundraisers and donors.

Nick Borrill, director of care, Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, said: “When we made the difficult decision to close the doors to the three hospices in Middlesbrough, Coventry and Liverpool in March, we as an organisation – and the team within it – were devastated that we wouldn’t be able to provide the vital lifeline and home-away-from-home our babies, children and their families had come to rely upon.

“Now, to be in the position where we can support the families that come to Zoë’s Place – albeit at a reduced level – during this second lockdown, means the world to the team at Zoë’s Place and, no doubt, to the families and carers of children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.

“We are so proud of the care team that has been working around the clock to ensure that our hospices remain safe and Covid compliant, and thankful to our supporters that have donated to Zoë’s Place and supported the charity in other ways.”