One of the things every parent dreads is the thought of having to see their child pass away. Sadly, this does happen. I personally would like to send my love to any parent who is having to face this awful experience.

When a child becomes very ill we take measures to ensure they are as comfortable and happy as possible. One of the great assets of the health service is the work of Children’s Hospices UK. It is very hard to have to prepare yourself when your child is diagnosed with a terminal illness. I would never like to experience this and would not wish this upon even my worst enemy. Also bear in mind that these children have not had the opportunity to live full lives, we must therefore make whatever precious time we have them with as special as possible. For the parent this involves spending a lot of time with your child. I doubt any parent needs to be told this, although it must be very hard to carry on seeing your child when you know that you may not have much time left with them. Let alone the financial pressures of normal life impacting on this.

So while the parents spend time and comfort their children, the amazing staff who work in Children’s Hospices comfort them. The work of a palliative care nurse should never be taken lightly. These wonderful individuals not only do their utmost to ensure parent and child have the best possible care and support, these specially trained individuals also have to face the heartache of making and then losing many a relationship with the children that they treat.

Most hospices are charitable organisations that rely on the public for funding to make their jobs possible. If it were not for the generosity of the local communities then their services would be incredibly hard to provide. £30 million has been made available to the hospices and the palliative services that operate within hospitals by the government. Andy Burnham the current Health Secretary said the sum will be split equally between the hospital and hospice based services.

The plans are to increase the amount of support given to the parents who choose to look after their children at home at such a hard time. This should hopefully see more visits by children’s health care nurses to the homes where their parents devote their time and love to their seriously ill children.

This cash sum cannot fund the outstanding services provided by hospices and palliative hospital services, but it does make a difference. I hope the public will carry on supporting these services that are vital to help families in times of need. It is very easy to support your local Children’s Hospice, a simple raffle or sponsored walk is at least an effort to help them. I am sure all money is very much appreciated. Most hospices accept toys and games, which all help in making the children’s’ stay as enjoyable as possible. I doubt the nurses would turn away the odd box of chocolates either, as they also go through very emotional experiences within their jobs.

The chief executive of Children’s Hospices UK, Barbra Gelb has expressed her gratitude for the extra money to help aid the work of the Children’s Hospices. But she has also reminded us that they do rely upon the public for most of their funding, much like any other charity.

However, even with this one off cash injection, Children’s Hospices, which are all registered charities, will still rely overwhelmingly on their local communities for funding

Sadly around 25,000 families are faced with this terrible problem within the U.K. Of course it would be better if we were not to require these services, but this is not the case. So whilst the dedicated teams working within hospices work to make the lives of our most vulnerable the best they can be during their stay, we must show our support.

The Children’s Hospice UK hosts a number of events to raise funds for their services those coming up include;

25/04/10 – Join other supporters and take to the streets for the virgin London marathon and help raise funds for the hospices at the same time. To join contact Hannah on 0117 989 7828

Or take part in the Granny trek

25/04/10 – Where you can take a slower approach on sponsored walks of 1-2, 3 or 6-7miles. To register please send an email to this address and you will be sent a form, or contact your local community fundraiser on 01275 866600.

All money raised will help to fund short break provisions, where a parent caring for a child at home is given a few hours to get the housework done, go shopping, read a book or even just the time for 40winks whilst their child is cared for by hospice staff. The Children’s Hospice service also involves providing;

  • Symptom control
  • The provision of therapies including play and social activities
  • Activities for siblings
  • 24 hour advisory support to families and professionals
  • End-of-life care either at home or in the hospice
  • Pre and post bereavement support for all family members

Recently Societe General have also raised £152,000 via a corporate partnership scheme. Every bit of support be it time or money helps these much needed services carry on.

I urge you to go forth and help your local Children’s Hospice and the devoted staff who care so well for the families who use their facilities.

Together we make a lifetime of difference

0117 989 7820

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