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Morrisons colleagues share their connection with Children’s Hospice Week

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Together for Short Lives, in partnership with Morrisons, has a profound impact on the lives of families facing the challenges of having a seriously ill child. The experiences of two Morrisons colleagues, Matt and Davina, offer a glimpse into the practical and emotional support provided by children’s hospices, illustrating the importance of these services.

Matt and Acorns Children’s Hospice

Meet Morrisons Store Manager, Matt. He is a proud dad to three wonderful children, Noah, Seren and Halle. His first born, Noah was born with several complex health conditions after his Mum Michelle contracted a virus during pregnancy. Eleven-year-old Noah is blind, deaf and non-verbal – he also suffers from epilepsy, quadriplegic cerebral palsy and requires feeding through a gastric peg. Despite these challenges though, Noah is a strong, smiley boy with a love for sensory experiences and being outdoors.

Noah continues to fight battles every day with a smile on his face. That’s what makes me proudest as his dad, that he just continues to defy the odds.

Matt, Noah's Dad

The family has been supported by Acorns Children’s Hospice since Noah was a year old, and they were initially connected with Sandra, a Support Worker. Sandra helped ease them into the world of children’s hospices and allowed them to build up their trust in the amazing team at Acorns. Now, ten years on, the family receives invaluable support from the hospice such as 12 nights of respite care a year and sibling support for Noah’s two sisters.

We would really struggle without Acorns.

Matt, Noah's Dad

Davina’s connection with Demelza

Davina, a dedicated Morrisons Community Champion and devoted mother to three adult children, Sam (34), Darrell (32), and Megan (30), is passionate about the Together for Short Lives and Morrisons partnership. Why? Because she has firsthand experience with the essential services of her local children’s hospice, Demelza.

At age 11, Darrell, Davina’s second child, started losing weight rapidly and suffered from sleep apnea. Initially, doctors were unable to determine the cause. However, during a routine check, they discovered a rare hemangioma in his throat, which impacted his ability to eat and breathe. To help ease his symptoms, Darrell was fitted with a tracheostomy and gastrostomy. Throughout these challenges, Demelza provided invaluable support, organising activities for Darrell’s siblings and offering financial and emotional help to the family. Now a healthy 32-year-old, Darrell’s recovery showcases the effective care he received.

They made a huge difference to my family at a really difficult time. They were a lifeline, without them, I don’t know how I’d have gotten through it.

Davina, Darrell's Mum

Matt and Davina’s stories illustrate the vital support children’s hospices provide to entire families, offering more than just medical care by addressing emotional, social, and practical needs. Our partnership with Morrisons ensures that more families can access these essential services, helping to ensure that every family caring for a seriously ill child gets the support they need.

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