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Project Brighton: Let’s turn up the volume for Children’s Hospice Week

 

This week is Children’s Hospice Week – the UK’s only awareness and fundraising week for children with life-shortening conditions, and their families and the palliative care services that support them.


The aim of the week is to improve public understanding of what life is really like for families caring for seriously-ill children. The round-the-clock care that children with life-shortening conditions need impacts on the entire family. Families often find it difficult to spend quality time together as it can be complicated to do even the simplest activities. It also highlights how precious family time is and how the wide range of children’s palliative care services across the UK provide vital support to thousands of families and help them treasure their time together.

 

We met up with our local children’s hospice, Chestnut Tree House, to find out a bit more about the care services they offer.


What does Chestnut Tree House do? Chestnut Tree House provides specialist palliative care services to around 300 children and young people aged 0–19 with life-shortening conditions in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire – both at the hospice near Arundel and in families’ own homes. This includes assessment, advice and information, specialist short breaks, emergency care, step down from hospital and end of life care.


The charity also offers bereavement support, a specialist neonatal care service, services for under 5s and transition advice for young people moving to adult services. The charity helps hundreds of local children with life-shortening conditions, their siblings and families enjoy precious little moments together – for however long they have together.


What it costs: £6,850 covers one day of all care services provided by Chestnut Tree House, £1,953 gives a child a three-night break at Chestnut Tree House, allowing them to enjoy the hydrotherapy pool, relax in the multi-sensory room and join in with a host of activities, whilst mum and dad get the chance to ‘recharge their batteries’.

 

 

£230 gives a child the chance to visit Chestnut Tree House for the day and enjoy a range of activities, £157 allows a member of the Chestnut Tree House Community Care Support Team to care for a life-limited child in the child’s home, £40 will cover the costs of a session with a Bereavement Counsellor, £35 will enable a child to experience a magical hour in Chestnut Tree House’s multi-sensory room with a specially-trained member of staff, while £4.75 pays for one minute of all Chestnut Tree House care services.


Linda Perry, Director of Children’s Services at Chestnut Tree House says: “It’s really important for us to spread the word about the specialist care services we offer, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. Children’s palliative care charities across the UK provide vital care and support, helping families be families.


“Since Chestnut Tree House opened in 2003, the number of children we care for has increased from 30 to over 300, and during this time the children we are caring for have become more complex. We receive very little central government funding – less than 7% of our annual £3.5 million care costs – so rely heavily on the support and generosity of our local community to raise the funds we need to reach out to more people and continue providing this vital care to local children and their families.”


The little things are the big things… when you’re facing the greatest of challenges, it’s the smallest of things that matter most – things that the rest of us often take for granted, like having a bath at bedtime, walking in the garden, going for a swim.


The care that Chestnut Tree House offers children in their own homes and at the hospice means that families get to enjoy more precious ordinary little moments.


To find out more about the work of Chestnut Tree House visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk or call the Fundraising Team on 01903 871820.