St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich has re-opened its Short Breaks service for young people with life-limiting conditions, after closing due to Covid-19.
The Short Breaks unit allows young people aged 18-years-old and above to take time out from their daily routine and socialise with others, while observing government guidelines concerning the coronavirus pandemic.
Through the service young people have access to the hospice’s self-catering kitchen facilities, wifi, TV, DVDs, Xbox and sensory room while receiving clinical and personal care provided by St Elizabeth Hospice nurses and carers; enabling them to enjoy independence away from home, while giving their families respite as well.
A recent study by the Disabled Children’s Partnership reported the experiences of parent carers during lockdown. The report highlighted the need for services such as Short Breaks, with 72 per cent of parent carers surveyed saying they are providing far greater care than pre-lockdown, while also now being required to provide home school education and 24/7 care with no respite.
Helen Finlinson, Young Adult Care and Transition Lead, said: “We are so pleased to re-open our Short Breaks service and welcome back many of the young people and their families who benefit from the service which helps them enjoy normal social opportunities that can sometimes be challenging to access.
“The extra stresses and responsibilities put on families by coronavirus has been hard and that is why it is so important we are able to re-launch Short Breaks in a safe manner, and we encourage any families caring for young people and their carers to get in touch so we can help.”
The service was established in 2019 under the hospice’s young adult brand Zest, which aims to foster support for the development of young people’s care and transition to adult hospices. Andrea Docker, whose son George uses the Short Break service and attended the re-opening on 22nd July, added: “It’s been a very long and hard time for us through the last four months of lockdown, everything has changed for George’s routine and he has struggled to cope with having to stay inside the same four walls.
“As a result he was very excited to be going back to staying at St Elizabeth Hospice seeing his friends, the staff and other familiar faces. For myself, I was able to recharge my batteries and also spend some quality time with my other son too. It’s important that as a family we’re able to return to some form of normality while also remaining safe.”
For more information visit St Elizabeth Hospice