Young Mikey Strachan given the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open new-look Naomi House children’s hospice

  • The Caterpiller Appeal fundraising drive is on £3.8m of a £4m target
  • Revamp means rooms are much bigger and more modern
  • Open day being held so more people can take a look
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RUNNING around and exploring his ‘home from home’, young Mikey Strachan was thrilled to see a new-look children’s hospice.

The three-year-old was given the honours to cut the ribbon and formally open the revamped Naomi House today.

It has undergone a £3.8m renovation, making the hospice in Sutton Scotney, near Winchester, much bigger and more modern.

Mikey’s parents Chevonne Newlands and George Strachan, along with siblings Gregor, 13, Mika, six, and Skye, four, of The Croft, in Stubbington, were one of the first families to take a look.

George, 28, a homecare technician, said: ‘The difference is just fantastic and we thought it looked great – it’s a home away from home for us.

‘We have been coming to Naomi House for the past year-and-a-half and it honestly is an amazing place.

The difference is just fantastic and we thought it looked great – it’s a home away from home for us

Dad George Strachan

‘The staff here also make it all so much better.’

Mikey’s condition is currently undiagnosed. He was born with a very large tongue, was tongue-tied and had an abnormally large head.

He developed respiratory problems and when he was nine months old he underwent surgery to help him breathe.

He also had feeding difficulties and receives nutrients, vitamins and minerals intravenously.

Previously he would need to bring oxygen cylinders with him, but now the respite bedrooms have piped oxygen and suction built in.

The revamp has been made possible thanks to the Caterpillar Appeal – a fundraising drive to raise more than £4m to carry out the work.

Chief executive Mark Smith said: ‘Naomi House is now the most advanced children’s hospice in the region, providing a fully comprehensive hospice service to families.

‘This is under the guidance of a specially trained paediatric palliative care consultant and medical team.’

Naomi House offers respite care and looks after children with life-threatening illnesses.