Island Haven project appeals for help, donations
The Island Haven project to provide accommodation for islanders attending the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske is now open for donations.
A charitable organisation has been set up to secure the lease on a property which has become available on the hospital's campus.
Lead Member for Adults Cllr Adrian Davis said at this evening's Full Council meeting that he was very pleased by the response to the project's Facebook group, which went live today.
He said: "We went live on Facebook this morning at 11am and there have been over 300 responses already. This is obviously very pleasing. We’re also working on a crowdfunding scheme which I hope will come live in the near future."
He added that he is "very keen" to secure a property as it is a facility many islanders are likely to benefit from "in the future if not now".
Cllr Davis continued: "Once we’ve raised the initial funding, which is approximately a quarter of a million pounds, we will hopefully be self-sustaining by running it more or less as a B&B. BACS is up and running but larger amounts can go straight to our treasurer David Grottick."
The organisation is currently awaiting charity status from the Charity Commission after applying on May 1st. It then hopes to be able to claim Gift Aid.
The Island Haven Facebook page started with a post from fundraising committee members Lou Simpson and Ro Bennett explaining the need for the facility.
They wrote: "Many Islanders and visitors have been in the unfortunate position of having to be be flown to the mainland in a medical emergency. Others have ongoing medical conditions which result in frequent hospital visits or prolonged treatment which involves having to stay on the mainland overnight or for longer periods of time. Some expectant mothers have had to be flown out unexpectedly or need to stay in hospital prior to the birth, or are released with a newborn and nowhere to stay. This particularly applies when inclement weather hinders transport back to the islands. Finding suitable, affordable accommodation is an additional stress at a time when people are at their most vulnerable.
"Consequently a charitable organisation is in the process of being set up a group of trustees to secure the lease on a property which has become available on the Treliske hospital campus. This property needs to be renovated to comprise 6-8 beds, kitchen and other essential facilities. The accommodation would be principally for island residents, however in the event of vacancies it will also be available to the relatives of visitors who have needed to be evacuated in an emergency and to patients from outlying districts in Cornwall experiencing similar difficulties."
They went on to explain that a fundraising committee has been established but "we are in desperate need of someone with expertise in IT skills, volunteers to help raise money, ideas and any other support or talents people have to offer that will help propel this project forward from dream to reality ASAP.
"We need £10,000 to get this kick started to pay dreary essentials such as legal expenses, surveyors etc. If everyone on the islands donated £5 today, that could be achieved today. The whole project will be a one-off cost of around £250,000. Again, if each person on the islands could contribute £125, that target would also be instantly reached."