Children and families barred from using the facilities at the new hospice in Maidenhead will be able to return from Tuesday.

The children's hospice built by the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service charity is due to open for live-in residents in autumn. But until the Coronavirus struck its care facilities were being made available to sick children and their families during the day.

It had to close when the UK went into lockdown in March. The charity adapted its service to support families in the community, continuing to provide symptom management and bereavement support as best it could.

Now families will have access to care and facilities at its hospice building in Maidenhead again following the easing of pandemic lockdown rules.

Helen Bennett, director of care at Alexander Devine, said: “It has been really tough for families during the lockdown. Most have been shielding to protect their children, and while we’ve been providing them with the support they need at home, many of them miss coming to the hospice, being able to enjoy all the facilities it offers."

One of the families looking forward to accessing the facilities at the hospice is Kia’s. Kia, 14, was born with a complicated and rare life-limiting condition for which there is no cure. Her family do not know how long they will have with her, so every day is precious. Kia is one of six siblings and is completely dependent on her Mum, who in turn relies on the support of Alexander Devine

Kia’s mum Rachel said: “We can’t wait to get the chance to visit the hospice again. Kia is really social and has always loved being around people. Her visits to the hospice gives her a chance to do fun things like swim in the hydro pool and take part in so many engaging activities.

"Lockdown has been really hard and isolating for our family. It has been difficult to get out at all and it was only in week 14 that we managed for the first time go for a walk by the river.”