Christmas is fast approaching, and preparations are underway to make this festive season extra special for children, young people and families receiving care from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
The charity receives incredible help from loyal supporters and kind-hearted members of the public and, this year, is calling on people to give a monetary donation to allow families the ‘gift of care’, rather than a physical gift. This could mean a chance for family members to attend family or sibling group activities, to have fun together and make memories, for parents to take a break from being carers and be mum or dad or simply have time for themselves to recharge their batteries.
For families, it has been a tough year and this winter is no exception. Not only are families worried about the pandemic, but the children EACH care for are at risk from winter flu and childhood respiratory viruses.
This year, more than ever, the charity needs to be alongside families making sure they get the care and support they need.
The charity continues to restrict visitors to its hospices and its traditional Christmas parties for children are unable to happen again this year, as they continue to support families to keep their children safe and well.
Christmas is an emotionally challenging time, especially for those who are bereaved. A donation to give a ‘gift of care’ will therefore make a huge difference during the festive period.
Donations can be put towards running online and hospice-based activities and support groups for families, including fun sessions for brothers and sisters, or a short break at one of the hospices or in the family home.
It could also help fund a visit by a specialist nurse to help a child who is experiencing difficult symptoms or for family members to have time with a counsellor or therapist.
EACH Director of Care Tracy Rennie said: “Families continue to need the reassurance that we’re here and able to provide the support and care they need. It’s been a hard 20 months and will be a challenging winter.
“The generosity of the public and support we receive from them is incredible. Every donation makes a difference to families every single day. Giving a gift of care to create memories, have fun and give families an opportunity to rest and recharge is something I think all of us can relate to as we live increasingly busy lives.”
EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.
It relies on voluntary donations for the majority of its income and this year needs to raise £5.5 million from fundraising and £5.4 million in income from their shops. Monetary donations are therefore absolutely crucial, particularly after such a challenging year.
Tracy added: “If you donate to give the gift of care, you’ll be making a huge difference to the lives of the families we support.
“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of my team for the kindness and generosity that is continually shown to EACH. We wouldn’t be able to do all that we do for children and families without you.”