An MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) is an award given by the Queen to an individual for outstanding service to the community or local ‘hands on’ service – 477 people have been selected this year to receive an MBE.
Lyn Gould has been working in China on a voluntary basis for the last 30 years. In 2004 she took early retirement so that she could set up and run a hospice in China specifically to provide palliative care to babies and children who have life threatening illnesses or are close to death.
She co-founded ChinaKidz, which later became Butterfly Children’s Hospices. The first of two Butterfly Hospices opened in 2010 in Changsha and the second, later, in Nanjing. The aim of the Hospices is to set the standard for palliative care services for children in China through leadership by example, quality of care given, collaboration, advocacy and education. Her contribution to the care and treatment of those who have passed through her hospices is outstanding.
On learning of her award Lynda Gould said “I am truly grateful that our work has been recognised in this way. My childhood dream to help children in China has become a reality I could never have imagined. As we educate, train and support new initiatives it is our aim that all children and their families will have the care and support they need.”
When asked whether she has seen a change in the way palliative care for children is viewed in China, Lyn comments; Yes, definitely there is a growing interest and understanding in several quarters. Media interest has continued but more focused on exploring and explaining the concept – not simply telling a heart rending story of the foreigner caring for dying children.
The government are certainly looking at our models of care and how to roll it out to other orphanages. At Butterfly we are assisting in the development of healthcare policy at and as part of that want to explore, develop and trial models for other areas – different communities and different settings”.
Lyn continues; “Following the first cpc conference in China organized and hosted by Butterfly in December 2015, 31 hospital doctors working in the area of childhood blood cancers from all over China have formed the ‘Chinese Children’s Palliative Care Treatment Association’ with the aim of Chinese paediatric, Haematology, Cancer medical workers and social workers will promote the development of Chinese children’s palliative care treatment”.
When looking to the future, Butterfly remain focused on their strategic goals of creating sustainable and scalable models of cpc to different communities throughout China – with the voice of the child, and family, if present, underpinning all actions taken.