On Tuesday, I met Judy Pride, the Community Fundraiser for NE & SE Cornwall and Plymouth area, for Children's Hospice South West. Wow, what a meeting ! I thought it would be basically a chance for me to learn some more about the work that the charity does and to talk to Judy about my 2011km challenge. Yes we did that, but it was so much more...it was an amazing, emotional, uplifting, positive experience.That possibly sounds a little over the top, but I can assure you it isn't.
Children's Hospice South West, is the only organisation in the South West providing hospice care for children with life limiting conditions. Sadly there are over 1000 children in the south west with illnesses that mean they will die in childhood. Through their 2 children's hospices- Little Bridge House in north Devon, and Charlton farm , in somerset, they are able to provide expert care for up to 400 such children and their families.
By building a third children's hospice in Cornwall, they will be able to reach out and support even more families, and bring their special service closer to the many families in Plymouth and Cornwall that need them. Since September 2007 they have been raising funds through their precious lives appeal, to raise their target £5 million to build this much needed hospice. Work is now very much underway in St.Austell , and they hope that Little Harbour will be open to families by the end of this year.
All 3 hospices offer respite, emergency and end of life care for sick children, in a homely environment that supports the whole family. Well siblings and parents are given an opportunity to meet with families in similar situations to their own- an extremely important source of support and friendship. Families are also supported through bereavment and beyond, for as long as they need it.
I am extremely fortunate to have two healthy children something which is easy to take for granted.The reason that this charity is so dear to my heart is that my best friend's little boy is now using the service. He and his family have just returned from a respite visit to Little Bridge House, which proved to be an extremely positive experience for the whole family. It was a chance for my friend and her husband to get a little, much needed rest, knowing that their son was being looked after by very caring and highely trained staff. They were able to mix with other mums and dads who understand what they are going through. They enjoyed time together as a family knowing help was on hand should they need it, and very importantly their older daughter, who has been having a difficult time at school because of her brother's condition, could see she is not alone.
During my meeting with Judy, several times she referred to me now "being part of their family" , and I think that summed up for me the essence of this charity, and reaffirmed that choosing to support them was 100% the right decision.
Please help me to support them by clicking on my just-giving link on the left of this page, any donation no matter how small will be very gratefully received, and well used.- Thank-you!
Find out more about The precious lives appeal, by joining their facebook page