Children’s Hospice South West praises supporters
- Credit: Archant
A children’s charity has praised its supporters for continuing to fundraise for the cause throughout the pandemic.
Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) has been caring for families shielding vulnerable children from Covid-19.
People supported by the charity are used to long periods of illness preventing daily activities, but CHSW says lockdown brought many new and ‘terrifying’ challenges to families – with many seeing their care packages fall away and their wider support networks disappear during the pandemic.
CHSW, which looks after nearly 200 families at its Little Bridge House children’s hospice in Fremington, North Devon, has had to adapt its care model to continue providing the lifeline support it has offered since 1995.
Because of the vulnerability of children, routine stays at Little Bridge House have been cancelled but the hospices remain open for emergency and end-of-life care.
The charity has also developed a ‘hospice, home and virtual’ model to continue caring for families whenever they need it most.
Alli Ryder, CHSW’s director of care, said: “For the first time ever, we have started working in the community, which has been an amazing transformation in our services. “We have supported children in their homes, providing night shifts when care packages in the community have fallen apart, enabling families to step in and care for their children in the morning.
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“We have also been providing care for community children’s nurses, cover over weekends and evenings, replacing nasogastric tubes for example.
During the past six weeks, the charity, which is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, has supported 102 bed nights at its hospices, carried out 335 community visits, and made 7,654 virtual contacts with families.
CHSW needs around £11million a year to run its three children’s hospices – including Little Harbour in Cornwall and Charlton Farm near Bristol – and around 85 per cent is raised through voluntary donations.
As a result of the pandemic, the charity has had to cancel or postpone many of its fundraising events planned for the year.
It also had to close its 35 South West charity shops, most of which have now reopened.