Mum Shelley Fountain has spoken of the help and support she receives from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
Seventeen-year-old son Mason was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was six and is a regular visitor to The Treehouse, in Ipswich.
Shelley has five other children – Jack, 24, Kloie, 16, Scarlett, 12, Amelie, five, and two-year-old Teddy – and was speaking at last month’s EACH family day on the beach at Felixstowe.
Children receiving care, along with parents and siblings, enjoyed glorious sunshine, playing on the beach and having a dip in the sea.
“EACH events like this give us an opportunity to spend precious time together, create memories and go somewhere as a family,” said Shelley, who attends every year and lives in Ipswich. It can be difficult finding something that entertains everyone.
“The beach day is perfect, though, and it’s lovely having help and support with Mason. It gives me a chance to spend time with the others. Amelie has just started attending sibling days at the hospice and we go to as many family days as possible.
“Mason has short breaks at The Treehouse, too. He loves staying over and has a whale of a time. That time also gives me a break, to spend time with my other children. We’re so grateful to have that support.”
EACH hosts the beach day every summer and hires The Hut, which has its own kitchen, toilet and facilities and is especially for charity and community groups.
Staff brought a hoist and hired a beach wheelchair, so children receiving care were able to dip their feet in the water and feel the sand between their toes.