Haven House in Essex and Claire House Children’s Hospice in Wirral say that many of the children they care for cannot eat Easter eggs because of their conditions. Many are unable to eat and swallow food and are tube-fed – at Claire House, this applies to 84 per cent of their children. Despite this both hospices receive hundreds of eggs each Easter from generous members of the public.
Instead they are suggesting other forms of support. Haven House has gift cards available and an Amazon Wish List of gender-neutral toys designed to produce a sensory response, which are of greater use to the children and some of which will be included in their home loan service, providing families with free use of specialist toys for up to three months.
Mike Palfreman, Chief Executive of Haven House, said:
“Easter is a time when our supporters often want to generously donate chocolate eggs to our hospice, however; unfortunately many of our children are unable to eat, drink and swallow whole food.”
“While we donate some of the chocolate eggs we receive to the brothers and sisters we support, we do receive an excessive amount of chocolate eggs at Easter.”
“We would never turn away a kind donation from our supporters, but if you would like to help our hospice this Easter, please consider buying one of our gift cards. You can also donate a toy or piece of equipment via our Amazon Wish List of specialist toys and equipment that would have more longevity and bring much joy to our children throughout the year.”
Claire House has set up an online Easter Garden where supporters can buy children a virtual Easter egg. The money raised from the online garden will allow the charity to provide support to local families over the Easter period and beyond.
Gillian Nove, Director of Income Generation at Claire House Children’s Hospice, is also grateful for all the support the hospice receives. She said:
“Chocolate eggs are a wonderful part of Easter and the siblings we care for love going home with a bag full of goodies. But most of the children simply cannot eat chocolate.”
“If our supporters could kindly donate a couple of pounds to our cause instead, we can ensure the children can get involved in other ways; making Easter crafts and cards or enjoying a Sunday movie cuddled up on the sofa with a member of our team.”
Alison Rushton, whose daughter Jess, 11, attends the hospice for respite care, said:
“Jess is fed for 16 hours a day via a tube directly into her bloody stream called TPN. She is completely nil by mouth so cannot eat chocolate eggs.”
“We are really passionate about this campaign as the hospice has given us new life, just as Easter eggs represent new life at this time of year. If a few people could donate the cost of an egg to the hospice, instead of the egg itself, the money would help pay for a stay for a family like ours.”