This week saw the BtG Pod begin to take shape. This will be the first dedicated facility for young adult patients with long-term health needs at Nobles Hospital.

An initiative of Bridge the Gap(BtG), the Pod will be a VIP retreat for young patients aged 16 – 24 with complex, chronic and life threatening medical conditions, who spend lengthy periods in hospital or need to make frequent visits to Noble’s for outpatient clinics, scans and other appointments.

A partnership agreement has been set up between BtG, Nobles Hospital and the Island’s Youth Service, with Noble’s providing a location for the Pod and the Department of Health and Social Care meeting its on-going running costs. BtG is gifting the facility to Noble’s and will fund a Youth Service project within the hospital, with youth support workers using the new facility as their base. BtG is delighted to have received sponsorship for this service from the Sheinberg family.

Presentations on the initiative are being made to nursing staff at Noble’s, who will provide vital liaison, facilitating visits to the Pod by their young patients and helping them make the most of the experience.

Val Lloyd of Architecture in Mann, who is working closely with BtG said ‘it was a real honour to be asked to help with this project where the whole ethos is to work together to help young adults at such difficult times. Whilst it is a relatively small project it’s one of the most rewarding in terms of creating an amazing age appropriate, chill out space for these young patients.

Bridge the Gap Trustee, Ken Callister said: ’We are delighted that the Manx community is supporting BtG and that our vision is becoming a reality. Young people with long term medical conditions often face repeated or extended inpatient stays and ‘The Pod’ is to be the first age appropriate chill out space for these young people, an environment far removed from that of a clinical ward.

In November 2016 BtG approached several Trusts, charities and businesses to ask for support specifically towards the building of the Pod, the charity would like to thank the Scheinberg family, The Wooden Spoon, The Gough Ritchie Charitable Trust, Celton Manx Ltd, Kionslieu Farm Estates, Kirby Farm Estates, The Lions Club, Quay Properties, Peel Charity Shops and Co-op Local Community Fund.

Since BtG was set up in August 2014 fundraising events of all kinds have been held in aid of BtG from ‘Rock the Gap’, where young bands raised funds to support young patients to the black tie ‘Excitement of Time’ held at the home of Dr John Taylor OBE. It is impossible to thank all of the individuals, clubs, choirs, companies and banks at this time but all will be included on the ‘Tree of Thanks’ at the entrance to the Pod.

In addition to the Pod and Youth worker project BtG have also equipped the Teen Zone on children’s ward and have provided BtG entertainment trolleys throughout the hospital for use on adult wards.

We are very grateful to TH Colebourn for supplying and fitting the TV in the Teen Zone and their help in creating the bespoke BtG entertainment trolleys. We would also like to thank Inter Continental Management for their sponsorship of three of the entertainment trolleys, each of which are equipped with a TV, games console and laptop.

We are now finalising the interior fit out of the Pod, the cost of which will be in the region of £20,000, this does sound so expensive but everything needs to be of a hospital standard. We are very grateful to Magic Carpets Ltd who are donating the flooring and Talbot and Son Blinds Ltd who are donating the blinds.

We are currently working on plans to create a relaxing courtyard area with outdoor seating. All of this comes at a cost so BtG is now on a second fundraising drive and would love to hear from anyone who might be able to offer support.


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