EACH to take parents’ photos ‘on tour’ after feedback shows Ipswich exhibition helped bust myths around children’s hospices

EACH to take parents’ photos ‘on tour’ after feedback shows Ipswich exhibition helped bust myths around children’s hospices

Oct 04, 2019
A display of photographs taken by five parents who receive care and support from EACH with the aim of addressing misconceptions about children’s hospices, has proved so successful it is now ‘going on tour’ around the region.

In August it was announced that a survey by You Gov, conducted on behalf of the UK’s umbrella charity for children’s palliative care, Together for Short Lives, found one in three people knew someone caring for a child with a life-threatening condition, but felt too uncomfortable to talk to them about it.

It also found one in five people do not know what children’s hospices do and what children’s palliative care means. Of those who said they did, 13% used adjectives like sad, depressing and unhappy, 20% described children’s hospices as being about end of life care and death, and only 7% used positive words such as hope, fun and comforting.

EACH’s H-Word exhibition ran for two weeks in June at the Whistler Gallery of DanceEast, in Ipswich, and feedback collected from visitors showed it had a positive impact, with 68% saying they would feel comfortable talking to someone caring for a child with a life-threatening condition after looking round. There was also a noticeable change in the language people wished to use having seen the photos, with a lot more choosing to use adjectives such as fun and happy rather than scary and upsetting.

Rachel Wright, EACH Family Communications Co-ordinator, said: “It was so pleasing to see the impact the H-Word had on what visitors thought about children’s hospices. False perceptions around the word ‘hospice’ are what lead to families looking after a child with a life-threatening condition being too scared to reach out for support and, also, people feeling uncomfortable about talking to those families about their situation, and this can compound a family’s feelings of loneliness and isolation during what is, likely, the toughest period of their lives.

“This exhibition showcases the realities of children’s hospice care through the eyes of those who have first-hand experience and, we believe, is the first of its kind. Certainly, the idea received fantastic feedback from other children’s hospices around the UK. We’re delighted to now be taking it from Ipswich to other parts of the region we offer care and support, and hope to see similar myth-busting results.”

The exhibition is now heading to Ely and Huntingdon libraries, from 3 October to 1 November, as well as the main outpatient corridor of Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, for four months from 16 October.

The parents who have taken photographs are Charlotte Markham, from Kesgrave, whose son Elliot sadly died after just a few hours in 2012; Nikki, from Ipswich, Louise Ormrod, from Colne Engaine, and Sophie Munnery, from Dovercourt, who all have children currently receiving care from EACH; and Claudia Kelly, whose family has accessed support from EACH.

Sophie said: “This was an excellent opportunity to be involved with a subject clearly very important to us all and it allowed me to express some of my emotions that we, as parents of children with life-limiting conditions, experience. I found being part of this to have a very positive impact on my wellbeing and particularly enjoyed being able to share our experience of EACH in such a positive way.”

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  • I didn’t realise hope was a gift until I became a mum. My little boy taught me many things and that was one of them Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • We are also supported by the 24/7 True Colours nurses and it’s so reassuring knowing we can call on them whenever we need support or advice Helen, William’s mum
  • When we first heard about the hospice we were apprehensive because we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there we realised it was a lovely place where Renee would be well looked after, and we would be able to have a much-needed break. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • We arrived at the hospice feeling scared and alone. We had so many questions – they answered them all and more. Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • EACH helped us with coping mechanisms and special ways of remembering Stanley. Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • EACH helps us to create lovely memories and has played an important part in all of our lives, not just Lucy’s. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • It’s been a great opportunity to meet other parents in a similar situation, something that doesn't really happen anywhere else. Helen, William’s mum
  • I can’t imagine what it would have been like. Nobody should have to, every family should be offered the support we were, and are still getting Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • EACH supports families when they’re at their absolute lowest, helping them to come to terms with their child’s illness, losing them and beyond Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • EACH has helped us keep Stanley’s memory alive. And allows us to look to the future Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • The play specialists are excellent and I also get inspiration from the activities they organise. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • Renee loves going to The Treehouse, but it’s great that care staff are also able to visit us at home too. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • I really love going to the hospice. I’ve made friends there and get to do loads of fun stuff. Renee
  • Children like Lucy don’t get the opportunity to go to sleepovers or to their friends for tea, so the interaction she has at the hospice is priceless. Heather, Lucy’s mum

The Treehouse

St. Augustine’s Gardens,
Ipswich, IP3 8NS


Church Lane, Milton,
Cambridge, CB24 6AB

The Nook

Pigot Lane, Framingham Earl
Norfolk, NR14 7PX