It's Children's Hospice Week and we’re sharing the special ways that the hospice helps families to create moments that really matter to them.
When we found out that a couple whose child uses our Children and Young Adults service were preparing to tie the knot in June last year, we wanted to help to make their wedding day extra special.
Jessica Gray, aged 10 from Cramlington, Northumberland, has been using our short break service for 9 years. Our staff helped to take care of Jessica in the run up to and at the wedding so that the couple could make the most of their special day. Jessica’s mum Laura tells us how she doesn’t think her wedding would have been possible without our support.
Without St Oswald’s support I don’t think our wedding would have been possible. I get a lot of emotional support from my family but physically, Jessica’s needs means it is very difficult for anyone other than me to support her.
This is where St Oswald’s has stepped in; it’s the only place we get support from and I don’t know where we’d be without them. On my wedding day St Oswald’s staff went over and above to help. The day before the wedding I took Jessica to the hospice, staff brought her to the wedding, and in the evening Jessica was brought back to the hospice to be cared for. This meant that I could do things like get my nails done and pick up my dress, like every other bride would do. On the day of the wedding, one of the members of staff even stayed later after her night shift so she could do Jessica’s hair.
Jessica is cared for at the hospice for four nights a month. She absolutely loves her stays, her face lights up every time because she recognises the sound the doors make when they open. There’s so much she enjoys – trips out, sensory activities, music therapy and the therapy pets that visit.
And for me, I get time to relax. If Jessica is at St Oswald’s over the weekend I sometimes go out with friends, which would be impossible without the hospice’s support.
You can help us to make more moments that matter for families this Children’s Hospice Week by shouting about the support we provide to North East young people and their families using #ChildrensHospiceWeek. To make a donation to support our work text the word ‘MOMENTS’ to 70085 to donate £3.