Building a Hospice for the Future

Martin House opened in 1987 and our building, with the addition of Whitby Lodge in 2002, has been a wonderful home from home for thousands of families for more than 30 years.

Now, with advancements in medicine, children are living longer, with more complex nursing requirements, and we need to update our facilities to ensure we can continue to provide babies, children, young people and their families with the specialist care they depend on at Martin House.

We’ve been working with our families, staff and volunteers to help us establish how our current building would need to change, to ensure we meet their needs. 

In March, we submitted plans to Leeds City Council. We plan to refurbish and extend our current building to provide more choice and flexibility to families who have a child with a life-limiting condition, enabling us to offer specialist respite care, emergency care, day care facilities, end of life care and care for bereaved families – to name just a few of our services.

The plans include:
  • A new wing of nine children’s bedrooms with en suite bathrooms.
  • New parents’ bedrooms and two extra family rooms for brothers and sisters.
  • A new living, dining and kitchen area for families.
  • A new two-storey block with a hydrotherapy pool, education and meeting space, and office space for non-care staff.
  • An ‘orangery’ to create more living space in Whitby Lodge.
The current children’s bedrooms, lounge and dining areas will be converted into a mixture of therapy rooms, and there will also be space for day care – currently most children come to Martin House for extended respite stays for three to four days at a time.
Martin Warhurst, chief executive at Martin House, said:
“Submitting our plans is a major milestone for us. We have been working closely with our families, staff and volunteers since 2016 to develop this project. Martin House has been a home-from-home for our families for more than 30 years, but in that time our homes have changed, and we need to do the same. We want to ensure that we continue to meet their needs, both now and for another 30 years.”

The build is expected to cost around £16.8 million, of which the hospice will need to raise £9 million, with the remainder coming from reserves, and plans are being put into place to raise the money needed. For information on how to support the fundraising appeal, contact Lucy Pickford at

The project is being planned in phases, which will allow the hospice to remain open throughout the work.

We are confident our plans will provide a hospice that optimises on space and design, to provide the best possible environment for
children, young people and families for many years to come.

If you have any comments or questions about our refurbishment, fill in the form below, or email your views to

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