“House For Julia” Children’s Hospice Under Construction At Kociánka

The construction of the House for Julia began with the symbolic laying of the foundation stone. The children’s hospice will stand in the garden of the home for the elderly at Kociánka. The construction, which will take about 15 months, is being financed by the City of Brno, and the hospice will subsequently be operated by the non-profit organisation of the same name, House for Julia. Photo: official ceremony for the beginning of the construction on Tuesday 19 July. Credit: Brno City Municipality

Brno, July 22 (BD) – The City of Brno began working with the House for Julia in 2018, and the current project follows from a contract signed in June 2021. More than half of the funding comes from the EU’s Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) programme. 

“I am very proud that the House for Julia is being established and will help clients and their families in Brno. Although children’s palliative care is a very painful topic, we must not close our eyes to it. On the contrary, if we set up adequate assistance for parents of terminally ill children in coping with complex care and if relief services and other means of support are available, we will also grow as a civil society,” said Brno Mayor Markéta Vaňková.

The three-storey building with an inner courtyard will be integrated into the surrounding garden to blend directly into the peaceful atmosphere of the site. In addition to the construction of the hospice itself, the building will include utilities and connections, a car park, new access road, pavements and outdoor and garden landscaping. Accordig to Petr Hladik, 1st Deputy Mayor of Brno, “The uniqueness of the project is hidden in the combination of social and health services. The residential respite service is classified as social, while at the same time the House for Julia will have health professionals available to provide all the necessary services in this field.”

The hospice will be equipped with modern therapeutic equipment, including a sensory playroom and a Watsu therapy pool. There will also be spaces for music therapy, art therapy and visits by dogs and other therapy animals. “It will also include accommodation and facilities for parents and siblings of sick children and a final farewell apartment,” added Hladik.

“Children’s palliative care is still not very well developed in the Czech Republic,” said Radka Vernerová, director of the House for Julia. “So we were inspired by similar facilities abroad, especially in the UK, where this care has been operating for a long time. Our goal is to provide comprehensive medical, therapeutic, social, psychotherapeutic and spiritual support for the whole family of a child with a life-threatening diagnosis. In order for a child to be at home even with a serious illness, it is essential to support families and informal caregivers and allow them to take a break from the demanding care. Respite services are an integral part of palliative care.” She added that there is still a shortage of support services for families across South Moravia, and that securing funding for these services is very difficult.

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