To lose a child is to lose a part of your being……”.
No-one but a parent can contemplate such an incalculable loss, and most of us are fortunate enough never to have to make that profoundly emotional journey. But for those that do, it’s an incredibly lonely path to tread. Parents will tell you of the overwhelming sense of unreality and isolation that goes with knowing that their child may not survive on a long term basis.
But for families in the North West of England, Derian House Children’s Hospice is a lifeline that helps to see them through both the good times and the bad.
Situated in the heart of Lancashire, Derian House is renowned throughout the region as being at the forefront of children’s palliative and respite care.
Since the hospice opened in 1993, staff at the hospice have provided a service which is crucial to life threatened children, and are part of a team which supports them and their family through the highs and lows of their illness, and beyond…..
Flying Start’s contact at Derian House is Fundraising Manager, Susie Poppitt, and she told us how important the hospice is in the lives of the children and families who use its services.
“We are currently supporting more than 250 families who have a child with a terminal or life threatening illness, and a further 200 who are receiving bereavement support. For them, Derian House is the means by which they deal with the highs and lows of their child’s illness and its aftermath
Most parents feel that it’s not knowing what to expect that gives rise to the greatest trepidation on their first visit to Derian House. Some are already fearful of the journey ahead – having a child diagnosed as life threatened or terminally ill means taking that journey one careful step at a time, both physically and emotionally. Others are afraid that the one to one care of their child will be taken away from them.
All will tell you that within hours of their arrival at Derian House, they know that everything is being done in their child’s, and indeed, their family’s best interests.”
Catering for children from birth to 16 yrs of age in 9 bedded Derian House, and young people aged 16 to 24yrs of age in 4 bedded Derian Lodge, staff endeavour to liaise with all professionals involved in the care of the child or teenager to ensure a structured care approach. This in turn strives for the best in clinical practice, in conjunction with a caring compassionate support network sensitive to the needs of the whole family in providing an approach to care and support as individual as they are.
Some families wish to care for their child at home, and a dedicated Hospice at Home Team is available 24 hours a day to provide a network to enable those families, who want their child to remain at home as long as possible, with the means to do so, secure in the knowledge that they will have a support system in place to help them cope with the emotional and clinical demands being placed upon them throughout their child’s illness, up to the time of their death, and beyond.
However, the high level of specialised care and support that families need will cost in excess of £2.85 million this year, and with less than 9% of funding coming from central government, fundraising staff at the hospice are faced with the daunting prospect of having to raise the majority of their financial target through their own resources, and the generosity of their friends in the community.
That’s why they’re asking for YOUR help to raise the additional funds they so desperately need.
Whether you’re contemplating a pub crawl in fancy dress, a street collection, a grand ball, a darts marathon or you’re simply looking for some fundraising ideas, they will provide you with helpful hints, and guidelines to keep you on the right side of the law. If you need a little more help and feel a chat about your project would be beneficial, then give the team in the Fundraising Office a call, or go and see them, and they’ll do their best to help get your fundraising off the ground.
Please consider supporting Derian House in 2012. There’s a whole host of ways in which you can help, whether it’s by supporting or participating in one of their events, or staging one of your own. Whatever you would like to do – the fundraising team will be there to give you the support you need to do it.
Together we can make a difference.
You can write to Derian House at Chancery Road, Astley Village, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 1DH
Derian House is a registered charity, registration number 105165