Children enjoyed colourful days of fun and learning during special trips to the Fitzwilliam Museum and Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Both were organised for siblings attached to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
Ranging in age from five to 11, they were either bereaved or have a brother or sister receiving care at the charity’s hospice in Milton. The trips took place over the school Easter holidays. “Both days were fun, informative and enjoyable,” said EACH Group and Events Co-ordinator Jenna Kent.
“The siblings enjoyed their time with us and got a lot from both days. Our thanks go to the museum staff, who ran both days and did a brilliant job of engaging the children in some lovely creative activities. We have a strong relationship with the Fitzwilliam Museum, stretching back to 2013.
“In addition to annual siblings’ days, they also host a family fun day as well as a coffee morning for bereaved parents. The Fitzwilliam also distributed art packs and shared craft activity ideas during lockdown, giving us suggestions to produce on our website. They’ve done so much for us and we’re very grateful.”
Five children attended the museum trip and enjoyed a special exhibition showcasing the work of artist David Hockey, entitled Hockney’s Eye: The Art and Technology of Depiction. After watching a short film, the children went around the galleries and then outside to experiment with a camera obscura that changed their perception of seeing things.
They then followed instructions, attempting to make their own versions. The trip to the Botanic Garden took place the following week and activities were Spring and Easter-based. Seven children attended and enjoyed going around the gardens, finding items on their list and then taking part in a bird egg hunt, collecting a stamp every time they found a different one.
They also used their creative skills to paint plant pots to take home and show their parents. “I’d like to say a big thank you to Cambridge-based company Dews Coaches, who provide transport for our sibling days, completely free of charge, which they have offered to us for a number of years,” said Jenna. “It’s a very kind and much appreciated gesture and, even better, the children got to travel in style on a luxury coach.
“I’d contacted the company and said both groups were only very small, so wondered if would be better to have a minibus instead. Dews came back and said it would be fine to use their luxury coach, because they wanted the children to be as comfortable as possible. It was a lovely touch.”
EACH at Milton runs sibling days during the school holidays, for children aged five to 16. They allow siblings to come together, have fun and make friends in a safe environment. EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, North and West Essex and Norfolk.
In addition to Milton, it also has hospices at The Treehouse, in Ipswich, and The Nook, in Framingham Earl, near Norwich.