A HOSPICE which supports children with life-shortening illnesses and their families has received a much-needed grant to provide care and support for babies.

Forget Me Not Children's Hospice, which runs Radcliffe-based Grace's Place, has been awarded £132,146 over three years to fund a perinatal nurse who will care for the baby and family at the start of pregnancy and during the first month of the newborn's life.

The charity has begun recruiting for a nurse who will predominantly be based at Grace's Place, in Dumers Lane, as well as visiting family homes and neonatal and paediatric intensive care units in north Manchester and Lancashire.

Their role will also be to help siblings cope with what is happening, and spend time with their new brother or sister, parents and wider family to aid their understanding.

This recent funding boost has been given by BBC Children in Need, which each year gives grants to organisations supporting disadvantaged children and young people.

Sharon Burton, Director of Care at Forget Me Not said: “BBC Children in Need grants have enabled us to run the perinatal nursing service at our West Yorkshire hospice for many years, so we’re delighted that they’ve awarded us with this new funding.

"The service we provide is vital for many babies, and their families, and we’re so pleased that we can now offer this at Grace’s Place."

Forget Me Not’s perinatal service gives families the choice of where their baby receives care, meaning that babies who would otherwise live their whole life on a hospital ward surrounded by machines and strangers will instead be able to experience love and care in their own homes.

The charity began providing a hospice at home service earlier this year — three years after it was due to open — but is yet to begin offering in-house care.

Forget Me Not already runs a hospice in Yorkshire, which the Care Quality Commission previously rated Outstanding.

The charity must raise more than £4million each year to ensure it is able to care and support children and their families.