ellenor’s Children Services, which has a shop in Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, has marked the week by raising awareness of the services which the charity offers to families facing terminal illness in Kent and Bexley.
Children’s Hospice Week is organised by Together for Short Lives, a charity which supports children and families with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions.
Linda Coffey, Director of Care at ellenor, said: “The Duchess of Cambridge’s personal message of support endorses the vital role children’s hospices play and helps us to celebrate and raise awareness of the specialist care we provide to life-limited children and their families facing the most difficult of times.
“It is a real honour to be recognised by Her Royal Highness for our work, particularly as it has been such a challenging year.”
The Duchess of Cambridge’s message read:
“The last year has been a difficult one for everyone, and especially tough and frightening for families with seriously ill children.
“Many started shielding long before others, worrying about the pandemic and what it might mean for their child.”
She continued: “Children’s hospices are a lifeline, and I have been privileged to see first-hand the remarkable work they do.
“They give families the care and time they need to make treasured lifelong memories – the chance to be parents, not carers.
“Vitally, they are also there when it is time to say goodbye, making sure a family has privacy and dignity so they can grieve together and are able to receive support for as long as they need it.
“I hope you will join me this Children’s Hospice Week in thanking the UK’s 54 children’s hospices and their incredible staff for the life-changing care they provide to children and families facing the unimaginable – helping them to make the most of every precious moment together.”
Hospice launches service for Children and Young People
Hospice in the Weald, which provides support to adults in the local area, is creating a service to support children and young people in Kent and Sussex with terminal and life-limiting conditions.
The charity plans to expand its services over the coming months, as Tor Edwards, Development & Communications Director, told the Times: “We have cared for adults in the local community for over 40 years now, and to provide care for children and their families will be a big step.
“It will be a very different type of care; the adults we care for are usually in their last year of life, but for children this care is likely to start much sooner and go on for much longer.
“We’ll start by recruiting a Lead Children’s Nurse for the Service in the coming weeks – it’s a really exciting opportunity.”
Current provision of children’s care is offered by the Demelza and ellenor hospices further afield in the region, but Ms Edwards explained: “There is a great deal of unmet need in the Weald area, a large area of geography which is currently not well served.
“We will be inviting children and their families to attend engagement sessions towards the end of the year, to share their experiences and make sure the service is designed to best meet their needs.”