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Staff members, guests and patients in new entrance area of Jigsaw

Major renovations funded by sale of Banksy artwork improve Jigsaw

11 June 2024

Major renovations which are creating a better experience for the young people and families who access Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice have been completed and officially opened.  

The project at the Carlisle-based hospice was made possible with proceeds from the auction of Banksy artwork Game Changer which was gifted to Southampton Hospitals Charity in May 2020 during the height of the Covid pandemic. 

The Banksy piece depicts a boy playing with superhero toys, discarding Batman and Spiderman, and instead choosing to play with a masked nurse in a Red Cross uniform. A note accompanied the artwork, saying: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.” 

Funds were distributed throughout the UK to benefit a wider community of healthcare providers and charities that work to enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS.  

£499,575 was donated to Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice, the only one of its kind in the county, to allow it to undertake this work. Other funders contributed generously to the project too, including the David Snowdon Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Cumbria Community Foundation (James & Eve Johnson Fund) and a number of local groups, businesses and people.  

At Jigsaw, this transformational renovation programme has created a new, specially designed entrance and reception area and saw the bedrooms and bathrooms used by the children and young people with life limiting conditions undergo a much-needed refurbishment. The new rooms are designed to offer a calming sensory experience and to ensure the young people can control the environment around them. 

Jenny Wilson, the hospice’s Director of Clinical Services and Deputy CEO, said: “The bedrooms and bathrooms in Jigsaw were around 16 years old and in great need of renovation, whilst the old entrance was not the most inviting or accessible for the children, young people and families who are supported by Jigsaw. 

“This funding has allowed the hospice a once in a generation opportunity to make significant improvements to the only children’s hospice in the county, helping make Jigsaw even more welcoming and fit for purpose. This project allows Jigsaw to offer better, more dignified and homely care to those with life limiting illnesses from Cumbria and beyond. 

“We are so grateful to Banksy and of course to Southampton Hospitals Charity for their generosity, and to the many other funders who contributed, both locally here and across the country.” 

The plans were drawn up with the collaboration of the children, young people and families supported by Jigsaw and brought to life with the help of Carlisle-based Architects Plus. The renovation work has been carried out by local building firm McKnight with Penrith-based Ast providing decorations for the rooms. 

Julie Clayton, Hospice CEO, said: “We are really excited that the new entrance and bedrooms are officially open and we are already seeing the huge difference it is making to the stays of our children and young people. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped get this project off the ground, from the work put in by hospice staff and the design team and contractors, to the ideas put forward by our children, young people and their families”. 

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