A unique children's health charity is set to bring an innovative eco-friendly project to Brighton and Hove.

It will benefit the local community and serve as a model for the rest of Britain and Europe to follow.

The Children's Clinic at Dolphin House has been making complementary healthcare therapies available to families, no matter what their income, for the past 18 years.

"The best practitioners in the country work here," says clinic director Steve Guthrie. "Now it is time for this centre of excellence to have a building which is equally good."

Currently, the Children's Clinic offers a comprehensive range of complementary therapies to babies, children and young people.

The therapists don't charge market rates because they are subsidised by charitable donations. "We have always found the people of Brighton and Hove to be very generous when it comes to supporting our work," says Guthrie.

"They seem to realise that alternative therapies suit young people very well."

The treatments help relieve and cure many problems, including asthma, eczema and anxiety.

They build the immune system, restore mobility and help with a range of emotional, psychological and behavioural problems.

Now the Children's Clinic has plans to expand into a brand-new, purpose-built building which will make Brighton and Hove a focus for 21st Century architecture.

"We believe that sustaining the environment and the jobs and prospects of the local people go hand in hand with sustaining good health in families and children," says Guthrie.

The charity approached leading architectural firm Baker Brown McKay in Lewes with an ambitious proposal to create a new centre to accommodate their needs. It will be the first of it's kind in the UK.

"It has the potential to be a blueprint for other such centres throughout the country in the future," says Duncan Baker-Brown.

The plans include a therapy pool for use by children with disabilities. There will also be a meeting room for community groups, a healthy-living internet cafe, a shop and a creche.

The clinic will be constructed using the principles of "sustainable development". It will maximise the conservation of energy and water, minimise waste pollution and it will be built from local materials which have the minimum impact on the environment, using the skills of the local people.

The landscape has been brought into the building via the central atrium in the form of running water and fully-grown trees shading the adjacent offices.

The central-glazed atrium provides the essential buffer zone, cooling and replenishing air, while its roof collects water for recycling and generates heat and electricity for the rest of the building.

"We have the ability to achieve our aims and aspirations for this unique centre of excellence, continuing our commitment to reaching as many children as possible," says Guthrie.

To make a contribution to The Children's Clinic at Dolphin House and to help the new building become a reality, call 01273 324790 or write to Dolphin House, 14 New Road, Brighton.