A new multi-faith room has been officially unveiled at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) following a generous donation from a leading UK Muslim charity.
Al-Khair Foundation’s £300,000 grant has made it possible for patients, family and staff to enjoy a new, dedicated space for prayer and reflection at the world-renowned hospital in London. The new space complements the spiritual and religious support provided to families by the hospital’s Chaplaincy team.
The Prayer Room and Reflection Space, which is accessible at all times, is also open to ambulance drivers and paramedics across the capital when they drop off or collect patients from GOSH.
The official opening for the hospital’s new prayer room took place yesterday (Monday) with the unveiling of a ceremonial plaque to mark the Al-Khair Foundation’s generous funding. The CEO of Al-Khair Foundation, Shuaib Yusaf, said: “I am delighted that we were able to support this initiative. People from all over the world come to GOSH when they are in need, and when people all over the world are in need, we [Al-Khair Foundation] come to them.”
Great Ormond Street Hospital cares for seriously ill children from across the world who may stay for months at a time, along with their families. The Deputy Chief Executive for GOSH, Nicola Grinstead, said: “The Muslim Prayer Room and Quiet Room that Al-Khair Foundation has created has allowed us to open up access for a very special space for contemplation, for reflection, for prayer to families who want to come here at the most vulnerable moments.”
“The families of the patients at GOSH can be going through the most stressful times imaginable, so the Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care team provide support to all of them, in accordance with each family’s personal beliefs. This outstanding contribution from the Al-Khair Foundation really helped us build on this.”
The family of GOSH patient Aleena Hassan, who was diagnosed with leukaemia aged four, are delighted with the new facility. Her father Amir said: “It is providing a benefit and I would personally like to say thank you to Al-Khair. But I would also like to thank all the people who have donated to Al-Khair because it is everybody’s donations that have collectively made a difference.”
Mr Noor ul Owase Jeelani, Head of Clinical Services for Neurosurgery and Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital added: “This facility affords us a spiritual space where parents can get some peace and calmness in their lives while they are coming to terms with their child’s illness and supporting them through their treatment. It’s a fantastic addition to the hospital and one that I and other members of staff look forward to using.”
The space, on the third floor of the hospital’s Southwood building, took over six months to complete, and aims to improve the social and spiritual wellbeing of patients, especially young children and their families facing a difficult time in the hospital.
“Holistic healthcare is much more than meeting the medical needs of the child. These facilities are so important for our patients, staff and families, it will provide a space for quiet reflection as well as a peaceful place for prayer.” said Jim Linthicum, Senior Chaplain for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Al-Khair Foundation works on UK-based projects covering education, healthcare, community cohesion, employment and domestic violence and is dedicated to helping the most needy people of all ages and faiths across the world.
“We are delighted to have created this much needed space for GOSH patients. The hospital has a world-class reputation for its medical capabilities and standards of care, and a reflection space with a prayer area has added to its ability to support people when they need it most.” said Imam Qasim Rashid Ahmad, Chairman & Founder of Al-Khair Foundation. “Having space and peace to reflect can help when we are at our most vulnerable and we were determined to make a space that would help everyone.”
For more information please contact:
Melissa.Shelley@gosh.org / 0203 841 3185
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Notes to Editors
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust is the country’s leading centre for treating sick children, with the widest range of specialists under one roof.
With the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, we are the largest centre for paediatric research outside the US and play a key role in training children’s health specialists for the future.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity needs to raise money to support the hospital to give children who need help the most the best chance for life. The charity funds patient and family support programmes, provides the latest medical equipment and supports the essential redevelopment of the hospital. It has also launched a five-year strategy to support research in some of the most serious and complex childhood diseases. Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is the largest dedicated funder of paediatric research in the UK and our work is entirely funded through the generosity of supporter donations. For more information visit www.gosh.org