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Putting families first

A family who are supported by our Children and Young Adults Service have enjoyed the perfect wedding day, with a little help from our care team.

Here at the Hospice we celebrate the time that families living with a child who has a life-shortening condition have together and aim to support them in making memorable moments.

As its Children’s Hospice Week, the UK's only awareness and fundraising week for children with life-shortening conditions, we are raising awareness of the special ways that we support families we care for.

We support the whole family, not just the patient. When we found out that parents of one of the children we care for were getting married, we wanted to help to make their wedding day extra special.

Dominic Blanchard, aged 14 from Durham, has been coming to us for short breaks for over seven years. His dad Kevin and mum Ruth have been together for 17 years and tied the knot last month.

Two members of our care team helped to take care of Dominic at the wedding to provide extra support, which included taking Dominic to and from the venue so he could stay overnight at the Hospice.

Kevin said: “Having St Oswald’s support both on the morning of the wedding and at the wedding took a lot of pressure off me and Ruth and enabled us to relax and enjoy our day.  St Oswald’s staff, Paula and Stacey dressed Dominic, gave him his medication and ultimately helped the day run a lot smoother.  If we hadn’t had the support of the Hospice the day would have been a lot tougher for us and shorter as one of us would have had to leave the party early to take Dominic home.  We were both so grateful for Paula and Stacey’s help as we didn’t have to worry about Dominic, we knew he was in great hands.”