The hospice currently supports over 260 children and their families, across Yorkshire, through its hospice at home service and state of the art hospice Russell House in Huddersfield.
However, they estimate that there are more than 1,300 children and families in West Yorkshire who may need their support and are keen to build awareness of the care that they offer and build local links to reach as many families as possible.
The Women Led Mosque Centre of Excellence has substantial plans for women’s services which complement those provided by the children’s hospice. The partnership will focus on making the hospice’s services much more accessible to families from Bradford and its surrounding areas and will work to dispel some of the myths surrounding the role of a children’s hospice.
By working together, Peter Branson, Chief Executive at the hospice hopes to improve access to palliative care and increase local understanding of the support that they offer. He explains that “[the hospice’s] mission is very simple, we are here to say yes to children and families who need us. Working together with the Muslim Women’s Council, we hope to truly understand the needs of the Muslim community and ensure we are offering the right services that will make a real difference to families in need.”
These sentiments are echoed by Bana Gora, chief executive of Muslim Women’s Council who added, “We are very excited to be partnering with an organisation which plays such an important role in the lives of children, in providing ongoing support and palliative care to those in need. Through this partnership we hope to provide a platform for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice to continue to bring much needed provision to Bradford.
“The partnership will see the construction of the Women Led Mosque and Centre of Excellence incorporating care services from Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, making this a truly unique venture providing wrap-around support for the community.
“The partnership will also shed much needed light on the work of the hospice and will act as a catalyst in raising awareness and understanding of the services and help available. We would like to thank Peter Branson for making this groundbreaking and innovative partnership possible.”
Research by Leeds University indicates there are more than 600 children living with life shortening conditions in Bradford alone. These startling statistics mean there is a significant need for support, and highlight the importance of ensuring equal access for all sections of the community to care which is right for them.