As life begins to look a little bit more like pre-pandemic times, many of the families that the children’s hospice at home service helps continue to be impacted by the fallout from the pandemic. Many other services have still not returned to pre-pandemic levels, and bedded hospices, like all healthcare settings, are experiencing severe nursing staff shortages.
Children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions are being discharged home from hospitals with more complex needs, meaning that the need for nursing support in a home setting is even more vital than ever. During 2021 – 2022, the specialist nurses that we fund were been busier than ever supporting children and their families.
The children’s service from Rennie Grove that the Pepper Foundation funds, provides face-to-face support for 12 hours a day, Monday to Friday, with 24/7 telephone support for families over weekends and bank holidays; these are often the times when other services are closed, meaning that at times, we are the only access to support that some families have.
Despite the tough circumstances during the pandemic, the beginning of the cost of living crisis in the first half of 2022, the children’s hospice at home service had overwhelmingly positive feedback from the families it works with. Parents told the service that they felt empowered to cope better with their situation thanks to the hard work of the nursing team and the other healthcare professionals who work hand-in-hand with the children’s team.
Through the partnership between the Rennie Grove team and The Pepper Foundation, we have helped children and their families by:
- Helping them to make the most of every moment they have left with loved ones
- Enabling parents and carers to cope with the intensity of caring for a very sick child
- Reducing social isolation for very sick children and their families and giving them opportunities to form lasting friendships
- Reducing the anxiety for a sick child by keeping them out of hospital and with loved ones in the family home
- Reducing the anxiety as far as possible of family members caring for a very sick child.
- Helping families to maintain stable, healthy family relationships.
- Helping to improve the mental health of siblings of our sick children and children of our adult patients
During 2021/2022, the children’s hospice at home service provided over three thousand hours of direct clinical care, respite and play sessions for children!
How you can help us to make sure we’re always there for families
The Charity Commission recently reported that one in four charities have needed to draw on their reserves following the covid-19 pandemic. And just as many of charities began to hope that fundraising would begin to return to normal, rising inflation has taken hold. Unfortunately the Pepper Foundation and our partner Rennie Grove have not been immune from the impact of the cost of living crisis.
And many of the families we work with, due to the need to care for a child with a life-limiting condition, will potentially be even more severely impacted by the cost of living increases.
This means your support is even more important to us than ever.
When the Pepper Foundation was out on a street collection last week (22nd July 2022), we had a number of conversations with local people who, alongside a generous donation, took the time to tell us about their experiences with family members or friends who had needed the support of a service similar to the one that the Pepper Foundation funds, or in a couple of cases, the actual service that our partner Rennie Grove offers.
Recent research has found that many people in the UK are increasing their charity donations despite the current financial situation. A common reason that people donate to a specific charity is due to a personal experience, or the experience of a loved one or friend. However, you don’t have to have personal experience of the service to want to help ensure that local families have access to children’s hospice at home care, should they need it!
You can help us by making a regular or one-off donation.