Sunflower Children’s Hospice Celebrates 15 Years of Caring

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The aim of Sunflower Children’s Hospice is to keep children within their families and communities as far as possible, with relevant supervision and support. Sunflower House has 13 beds for children who cannot be cared for at home. Children are admitted for end-of-life care; pain and symptom management; respite care; initiation onto anti-retroviral therapy or TB treatment; and cancer treatment. Children may remain in Sunflower House for long periods of time until they can be placed in safe care in the community.

The Hospice focuses on four different types of caring:

  • Home Based Care
  • Day Care Centre
  • In patient care at Sunflower House
  • Training and education

The Home Based Care is based in Mangaung, Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu to over 350 children. Care within the home is provided by a professional nurse with a qualification in palliative nursing care. The Day Care Centre provides health and emotional support; supervision of medication; developmental stimulation and family support. The Day Care Centre contributes to improving the quality of life of patients and families in a group setting.

While celebrating 15 years of compassionate palliative care for children, Sunflower Children’s Hospice (previously St Nicholas Children’s Hospice) continues to celebrate other milestones as well.

Here are some of those milestones:

  • Since 2004 , 750 inmates of a private maximum security prison have been trained as Community Caregivers by a tutor trained and supervised by the hospice.
  • A 4 year old HIV positive and orphaned child taken into hospice care by the Bloemfontein Children’s Hospice programme, before the children’s hospice became a separate entity, and still visited each  week by Sunflower Hospice staff as she has renal failure,  has become a beautiful  22 year old “film star” for the forthcoming series of “Little Stars” that can be seen at Sunflower House features in the first short film made by Moonshine Movies, the creators of the successful “LIFE before Death” series. This film, entitled ‘Value Every Life’ featuring Sunflower House and Sunflower Children’s Hospice has already won an Accolade Award for best film for ‘Use of Film for Social Change’. Read the article here
  • The Tank Regiment of the South African Army celebrated 10 years of patronage of the hospice with a major Golf Day and happily shared their time and support on Mandela Day, much to the children’s delight.

Sunflower Children’s Hospice is to launch two new programmes in August and September to further celebrate 15 years of service. These are a neonatal and perinatal palliative care service to provide support for families facing the possible death of babies in this very early period of life. Palliative care provision will also be available for the parents before the child’s birth.

th   The hospice has initiated a project to help the wonderful grandmothers and elderly, who so often care for sick children and orphans through the provision of training in palliative care to organisations caring for the elderly, and in particular for those caring for people with Alzheimers disease.


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