HoH Campaign: Give hospice your support

PUBLISHED: 10:28 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

From left hospice manager Carl Harris, community fund-raiser Tracey Tingey and director of fund-raising and marketing Colin Roberts.

From left hospice manager Carl Harris, community fund-raiser Tracey Tingey and director of fund-raising and marketing Colin Roberts.

WE have launched our HoH campaign to raise funds for the Milton Children s Hospice and petition against the appalling lack of Government funding that leaves the charity dependent on donations. It will cost the each charity £4.7 million to run the three h

Danielle Axam, centre, with dad Bob Gunnell and care worker Julie Wilmerson.

WE have launched our HoH campaign to raise funds for the Milton Children's Hospice and petition against the appalling lack of Government funding that leaves the charity dependent on donations.

It will cost the each charity £4.7 million to run the three hospices in East Anglia for the next financial year. Only 10 per cent of its funding will come via statutory sources. The shortfall is made up by a diligent band of fund-raisers who for the most part are inspired by the dedicated each team.

Find out how you can help to raise funds and sign our petition to put pressure on the Government to make children's hospices a funding priority. Read the heart-breaking story of Val and Dave Cousins who's grandson Tony received care at Milton.

THE Milton Hospice is one of three children's hospices in East Anglia run by East Anglia's Children's Hospices each charity. Milton provides one-to-one nursing care for children from birth to 21 years of age. Far from being a sad place, a lot of hard work has gone into making it a "place for the living" said hospice manager Carl Harris.

"The hospice is a happy, noisy place, most of the time. It's very much a place for living, with a home-from-home environment." The cheerful surroundings and special play equipment help to make the most of precious time and allow each child to reach its full potential, whatever that may be."

Milton is quite different from an adult hospice in terms of funding and the care it offers. This is because the needs of the children and the families are different. For instance, staff are often involved in caring for a child and their family - parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts - over many years, especially when a child's condition gradually deteriorates. Some of the care is carried out in the family home and support continues for as long as it's needed, during and after bereavement.

The main objective is to provide skilled nursing care either at the hospice or in the family home.

"Our greatest assets and therefore our biggest cost is our staff who are professionally trained and experienced," says Carl.

"When people ask 'what can I buy for the hospice?' our honest reply is that first and foremost we need to pay for the nurses and carers because without them we cannot look after the children."

Here are examples of some of the other costs of providing such a high-level of care.

# An hour of respite care for one child - £29

# A session of assisted play - £15

# A music therapy session - £77

# A three-hour family support session for a child and their family - £90.

Many of the children have conditions that mean they will deteriorate slowly and this puts an enormous strain on family life. Holidays and family activities have to be put on hold, and parents who are providing 24-hour care can end up mentally and physically exhausted, which is why the respite care offered at Milton is so vital.

The family can also stay with the child, giving them chance to play and care for their youngster without the pressure and responsibility and demands of 24-hour care. The hospice also offers a bereavement service for as long as the family requires it.

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