THE unveiling of a recently renovated cottage that provides refuge for the loved ones of patients at the Orthopaedic Hospital, took place on Tuesday at a special ribbon cutting ceremony.

The work comes thanks to a £16,000 investment by the League of Friends.

The building has provided support for relatives and friends of those who have suffered trauma such as a serious spinal injury of have been receiving treatment for bone cancer, but had started to look old and dated.

Trustee Veronica Lillis, who has helped manage the project, said: "The cottage was last updated around 25 years ago so a major refurb was really overdue and our aim was to provide a calming environment for the families of patients.

"It has been completely upgraded, modernised and enhanced to be brought into the 21st century.

"I’d like to say thank you to the hospital Estates and Facilities team for providing a remarkable amount of support to the project and to all the businesses who contributed."

Victoria Sugden, charity director of the League of Friends, said: "We are delighted to have invested in the renovation of the cottage.

"We are also indebted to Veronica – she has brought her tremendous experience and knowledge to the scheme, took on the responsibility of managing the project and invested a lot of time and effort.

"Our overall aim was to spend as little as possible but still receive a maximum result, and that would’ve been impossible without the support from the local community."

Mark Brandreth, chief executive at the hospital, said: "I’d like to thank the League of Friends for funding and managing this project, and also our Estates and Facilities team for supporting the project.

"It’s really important we look after the families of our patients, especially when they are going through a really difficult and challenging time, having to adjust to life-changing circumstances.

"Giving them somewhere safe and comfortable to stay takes away one of the pressures they are facing, freeing them to support their loved ones."