Bedford-based charity The Harpur Trust has awarded children’s hospice Keech Hospice Care with a grant of more than £28,000 to help fund its children’s community services.
Many Keech services are offered from the hospice but the Community Support Team helps families whose children are too sick to travel there.
Keech offers services to families in their own homes including complementary therapy, bereavement support, a play specialist and music therapy along with clinical services involving visits from its community nurses and palliative care support workers.
When a child is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, parents often struggle to adjust to their new way of life. Many have to give up work to become a full time carer, which can cause financial problems for the family. Many families that have a child with a life shortening condition feel very isolated and lonely with few people to talk to who actually understand.
The team at Keech co-ordinates services specifically to meet each child’s needs. For those who struggle to verbalise their feelings, Keech’s music and art therapists help them come to terms with their situation.
For those who are struggling financially, their social worker is able to help with family finances and their play specialist helps families learn how to play together again. In addition, Keech’s complementary therapist can provide treatments for the whole family in the comfort of their own home, giving parents and carers much
needed respite, and children the opportunity to relax.
“Every single child, parent, brother and sister is an unrecognised hero in the struggles they have to face every single day, “ says Children’s Community Nurse, Judith Richardson. “The Keech community and in-house team try and offer support to the families to enable them to build and maintain family life. The children can make relationships outside the family home and the families can have confidence that the staff have the skills to care for their children.”
The Harpur Trust’s Grants Officer, Francesca Johnstone, said: “The Grants Committee was pleased to support such a worthwhile cause that supports families living in the Borough area. It is not always possible for families to access services, particularly if their child is too sick to travel; Keech is trying to bridge this gap by providing support and care in the home. We hope the funding awarded will help many families feel less isolated and more able to cope at a difficult time.”