On Saturday 2 July, St Oswald’s Hospice opened their doors to families in the local community whose child has a life-threatening or life-limiting illness for an activity day full to the brim with arts, crafts, activities – and smiles! This event is the first of many to run throughout the summer.
For many families, this is one of the first opportunities they have had to return to their local hospice for a day of fun, while for others it was their first time stepping through the door of their local children’s hospice.
The day at St Oswald’s was organised with the help of both ourselves and our longstanding partner Hobbycraft, which kindly donated materials for families to enjoy during the fun day.
Throughout the summer we’ll be helping to organise these fun days at ten children’s hospices across the country. As well as having a lot of fun, we’ll be using the days to explore how they felt when they were offered support from the hospice, and identify any barriers they faced in accepting this support.
We will use this information to understand why there is a gap between the total numbers of children with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and those who are accessing their local hospice services.
Children’s hospices are often described as a “lifeline” for families that access their local hospice. They provide a range of services from short breaks, therapy services, care at home, sibling support, emotional and spiritual support through to end of life and bereavement care.
We hope that through this fun, activity-filled discovery work with families we will be able to understand the reasons why sometimes families find it difficult to take up referrals to children’s hospice services, and that together they will be able to support families on this journey.
“We are enormously grateful to all of the children’s hospices for organising such a fun day for families, so that we can better understand how families feel about being supported by their local children’s hospice,” says Dr Helena Dunbar our Director of Service Development and Improvement. “We know that first impressions are so important, which is why we hope that these amazing activity days will shine a light on all of the incredible support that the hospice has to offer.”