The Island Haven moves to secure Islander accommodation near Treliske Hospital

March 11, 2024

Isles of Scilly charity The Island Haven has accomplished a significant milestone after moving to secure long-awaited mainland accommodation for islanders undergoing medical treatment.

The charity, run entirely by volunteers and fundraising since 2019, will soon exchange contracts on a five-bedroom property close to the Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske in Truro, the nearest major hospital for islanders.

The property in Tresawls Road, just a few minutes from the hospital, will require some conversion work, but the charity hopes to have the much-needed facility available by the end of 2024.

The property will provide a comforting space for islanders undergoing longer-term outpatient treatment, for loved ones accompanying patients during emergency treatment, or for patients discharged overnight or at weekends when travel home to the islands is impossible.

Currently, islanders face considerable accommodation bills to stay in B&Bs, hotels or self-catering properties, causing financial stress at an already difficult time. Lack of accommodation availability, particularly during Cornwall’s peak tourist season, has sometimes meant islanders cancelling appointments or being unable to have their loved ones with them when they need it most.

The Island Haven will provide dedicated, affordable accommodation within walking distance of the hospital. It is proposed that after conversion, the property will offer four ensuite double bedrooms, a communal kitchen and shared social space, as well as a small garden and car parking. 

Chair of The Island Haven, Tim Guthrie, said: “We are delighted to have achieved this major milestone in the charity’s history, a goal only achieved because of the tireless efforts of Scilly’s small albeit passionate community of islanders, local businesses and visitors.

“A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis and Scilly’s small community of just 2,500 residents and around 100,000 annual visitors has meant we have had to adapt our original plans of a purpose-built facility.

“However, this pivot in our plans means The Island Haven is now truly on its feet, with a very real prospect that this vital facility will be available for those who need it before the end of this year.

“We really cannot emphasise enough our gratitude to the small but dedicated community of Scilly – islanders, visitors and businesses – who have made this a reality.

“We also wish to sincerely thank solicitors Alison Morden-Hawke and Nikki Jonas of Womble, Bond, Dickinson (UK) LLP and property surveyor Brian Hasell of Huntley & Partners for their professional services, enabling the purchase to proceed.”

The charity must now continue to fundraise to convert, update and equip the property and fund the ongoing running and maintenance costs.

The Island Haven will continue to work alongside the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust to provide on-campus accommodation.

Tony Atkin / The Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, Truro / CC BY-SA 2.0

 

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