Northern businesses gift ‘changing-rooms-style’ make-over to Leeds Children’s Hospital

A duo of northern businesses have provided pro-bono services to Leeds Children’s Hospital to create a better environment that supports both children facing cancer, and their families, alongside NHS staff - 12 years after it was last decorated.

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

“Staff have faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic and these continue as we emerge from it,” commented Julie White, Candlelighters lead nurse for children and teenage cancer at Leeds Children's Hospital. 

“This refurbishment has made a huge difference to our working environment and encourages staff to take exceptionally precious downtime”. 

Informing the design decisions, strategic change enablement agency, CDS, obtained extensive insight into how staff felt about the existing space - and how adaptations could bolster the emotional wellbeing of all that occupy the department. 

That insight was then passed to nationwide interior design and fit-out business, Claremont, which designed the new look before dispatching a team of 19 people - and 42 hours of pro-bono time - to transform the pair of 400 sq. ft staffrooms into relaxing and well-equipped spaces for workers to recharge. Wren Kitchens also gifted all cupboard fascias for the space.

“The NHS and Candlelighters teams provide invaluable support for those facing childhood cancer in the region - but who supports them in turn?” explained Adrian Mullen, creative director at CDS. “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 day-to-day.”

“CDS made this change happen,” commented Caroline Gill, head of engagement at Candlelighters. “The team gathered a network of partners to undertake this project, and all at no cost to the hospital.” 

“Having an uplifting staffroom with a place for colleagues to rest and socialise has made a real difference to their working lives, and encourages those important connections across the wide multi-disciplinary team”

Sarah Syson, design manager at Claremont, added: “The team at CDS first mentioned the Candlelighters’ project to us last year and asked us to get involved.

“This has been a very rewarding and collaborative project as 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.”

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 - 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.”

The support is a continuation of a long-running partnership with Candlelighters, which has seen CDS employees nominate the not-for-profit as its corporate charity of the year in 2020 and 2021 - raising a total of £11,000 thus far. The pro-bono work this year is in addition to CDS' sponsorship of another important Leeds-based charity; The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease.

Back to Press Room