A grant of £20,000 from The True Colours Trust's Breathing Spaces fund has allowed us to transform the parents' room on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Parents who have a child in intensive care can spend many days in hospital. This can be a demanding and challenging time and often parents need a break from the busy hospital environment. This means, providing a dedicated space for parents to sit down, make a cup of tea and take a breath is so important.

Before the renovation parents told us: “It is dark, dull and empty. It could be lighter and brighter with posters and pictures.” Also, there is a “lack of air and space, and the colour scheme makes the room claustrophobic.”

A grant of £20,000 from The True Colours Trust has allowed us to transform our parents’ room and kitchen into bright, calming places.

The new room feels brighter and more spacious, with new lighting and a new colour scheme. A light box featuring bespoke artwork by Enya Lachman-Curl, has been brought in to introduce a feeling of nature and the outdoors.

Enya told us: "It was wonderful that my work will help assuage some of the anxiety parents feel during a difficult time for them. I was very pleased to work with Royal Brompton Hospital to use my art to make a positive difference for the families of patients."

The kitchen has been completely redesigned to give our parents a more functional space with more seating and tabletop space for them to sit and eat.

Catherine Gathercole from The True Colours Trust said:

Good parent/carer rooms are invaluable to those caring for their children in hospital. We are thrilled that the Royal Brompton Hospital shares our commitment to prioritising the needs of parents /carers. The hospital team has demonstrated that with thoughtful and innovative design even very small non-clinical spaces can be transformed to provide parents and carers with a dedicated, comfortable place to rest, eat or just have some breathing space.

Claire Buckle, Matron for Royal Brompton's PICU, explains how these new rooms will not only have a positive impact for parents but will also contribute to young patients' wellbeing in the video below.

“Thank you so much to the True Colours Trust. Our PICU spaces have been transformed from being dark to bright, airy and the colour of nature, green. Parents are so grateful for these relaxing spaces where they can temporarily disconnect from the bustle of PICU and recharge. Thank you," Claire said.

We want to thank The True Colours Trust for helping us to improve the hospital experience for our parents.