How can you make a child’s dream come true to see the sea, to float on the waves when your daily concern is how you will manage to support your child financially? How can you make that dream come true when your child is very sick and isn’t able to walk and every day you struggle to find the medication they need?
In this situation you obviously need help and where can you find it? For hundreds of suffering children in Brasov, Romania the answer is Hospice Casa Sperantei the partner charity of Hospices of Hope.
Every year Hospices of Hope organises summer trips for the children who are hospice patients and their families. They recruit a team of willing UK volunteers who fundraise to make these much needed trips possible. This year Hospices of Hope have organised 5 summer trips which started on 19th June and will finish on 24th August. These trips are organised for many reasons but mainly for the children to feel like children again and have the chance to go on holiday. For the families it is a chance for them to receive some respite care, knowing that their child or sibling is in safe hands.
This year for the first time the UK volunteers were invited to join the Brasov Hospice patients at the seaside in Romania. After a very long and tiring 9 hour train journey from Brasov to the Black Sea everyone arrived safely and very excited. Altogether there were 33 child patients, 18 siblings, 34 parents, 9 Romanian staff and 8 UK volunteers; a grand total of 102 people!
For some of these children it was the first time they had seen the sea, so you can just imagine their faces. After everyone had settled in, the fun began…building sandcastles, swimming in the sea and playing games on the beach.
Every day the children had time on the beach and in the sea. For me personally it was an amazing experience to see so many of the children who are always in their wheelchairs being able to float in the sea with our help. On the first day Alex* who has muscular dystrophy and very limited mobility as a result of his condition, wasn’t too sure about coming into the water but by the second day he was in the water and he LOVED it.
On Thursday we managed to secure a donation for everyone to go to a dolphin show in Constanta, a nearby town, and also for the children to receive a Happy Meal from McDonalds. It was a great day out and an experience I am sure the children will not forget.
On the final night we celebrated the end of a fantastic week with diplomas and presents for all the children, a huge cake and of course a party. The dancing in the evening had young, old, able and disabled living life to the full.
“Seaside Club = best thing ever!!! I’ve had a fabulous time here, it’s been such a great experience to spend time with the patients and their families, whether on the beach, during craft time or on the dance floor!! My highlights have been building sandcastles, helping the children in the sea and the fun and games of the evening lessons. Anyone thinking of getting involved should just do it! Hospices of Hope is an amazing charity and I am inspired by the staff and the families.” Debbie – Hospices of Hope volunteer
Every year Hospices of Hope look for volunteers to help on their Summer Trips. Your assistance will make an enormous difference to the lives of the patients. If you would like any further information please contact Anna Perolls on firstname.lastname@example.org You can also phone her on 01959 525110 or visit http://www.hospicesofhope.co.uk/overseas-volunteers/
*His name has been changed to comply with child protection laws.