“To have someone come in and help makes the world of difference, because it becomes disheartening seeing something that needs doing and not being able to get to it” – Karen says EACH’s Help at Home service allows her to spend more time with daughter Cara
A mum whose teenage daughter lives with a complicated genetic condition has spoken of the “invaluable” support she receives from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
Karen Maude and husband Justin benefit from EACH’s Help at Home service, whereby volunteers are matched with a family so they can provide vital practical support with chores like cooking, shopping, dog-walking and DIY.
Over the years, the family have had regular support with cleaning and occasional help in the garden from a number of volunteers. Their most recent match, volunteer Evelyn Foster, started last Friday (2nd June).
It means that in addition to working, Karen and Justin can spend their time looking after daughter Cara. The 13-year-old has been receiving care from EACH since she was a baby and enjoys short breaks at The Treehouse, in Ipswich.
“I know it’s a cliché but we’ve certainly been on a journey, especially as Cara’s condition has become more and more complicated,” said Karen, from Colchester.
“I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about the care and support we’ve received and we’ve been seeing the same nurse since we started going to The Treehouse.
“Having that continuity is brilliant and she’s wonderful. Everyone we’ve ever met from the care team has been kind, reliable and trustworthy and the facilities at the hospice are second to none.”
Karen says she is particularly grateful for EACH’s Help at Home service.
“It’s invaluable and makes a massive difference,” she said.
“We’ve had three different volunteers over the years, in addition to a couple of people who have done some gardening. Our situation means we’re always short of time and that’s why we’re so appreciative.
“Naturally, certain jobs fall by the wayside and slip to the bottom of our to-do list, because so much of our time is spent looking after Cara, working and trying to find time to spend with Cara’s brothers.
“To have someone come in and help therefore makes the world of difference, because it becomes disheartening seeing something that needs doing and not being able to get to it.
“The same applies to looking out of the window and seeing an untidy garden. It might not seem a big thing to someone with more time on their hands but makes a massive difference to us.”
EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions. In addition to The Treehouse, it has two other hospices, in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
Karen was speaking during national Volunteers’ Week, which started last Thursday and ends today. To read more, click here.