BURTON Albion fans are being urged to dig deep for The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice who will be collecting around the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday.
At the Donna Louise, the purpose is to provide care and support to children and young people affected by life-limiting conditions and their families. Services provided include, Practical Support such as short break care at home or at the hospice, day care, end of life care, care co-ordination, 24 hour telephone support and advice and physiotherapy. Also, Emotional Support such as counselling, bereavement support, play and music sessions and support groups is given. Finally, they provide Whole Family Support such as parent and carer support groups, sibling activities, pamper days and complementary therapies, family Saturday Club and family respite stays.
They are currently supporting over 205 families across Staffordshire and Cheshire. All services are delivered free of charge. Burton-upon-Trent is an important area for them as they have 18 families in the town which has also been a pilot area for their parent and carer groups through which the hospice comes to the families, rather than them to the hospice.
Nicky Griffiths is a full time carer for her six year-old son who was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was only 13 months old. As a family they have been supported by The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice for over 5 years now.
Living in Burton which is an hour away from The Donna Louise, she is not always able to visit the hospice but regularly attends the recently formed Burton Support Group which gives mums and carers with children who have limit-limiting conditions an opportunity to get together and support each other.
Nicky explained: “As a parent of a child who is life-limited and severely disabled I felt very isolated and felt that other parents just didn’t understand what we were going through.
“Parents of healthy children can’t really understand the relentless care giving, regular hospitalisation, endless sleepless nights, with consistent feeds and medicine giving, and at times I feel isolated.
Nicky added: “If it wasn’t for the group I would go mad, in fact the thought of it not being there anymore sends me into a panic. The thought of no local support network would mean I’d be plunged into darkness.
“It’s a lifeline. I can’t go to a normal mum’s group and talk about losing my son, as I know he’s not going to be here for ever. So we would lose out and that terrible isolation would return.”
With the fear of what lies ahead, coupled with the challenges of caring for a very sick child, their families face immense, relentless, difficult and emotional issues day after day; year after year. With your help they can help to alleviate some of the pressures that they face and help to create some special lasting memories.
They need to raise £3 million each year to continue the vital work they do. If you would like to find out more about the hospice and how you can get involved please call the fundraising team on 01782 654444 or log on to www.donnalouisetrust.org