This year’s Children’s Hospice Week, from 13 to 20 June, focused on the incredible round-the-clock care provided to seriously ill children by families, professionals, children’s hospices and services across the UK.
A powerful film was used to launch the week, with a touching story told by Jenny about her daughter Tilly May and the invaluable support she receives from Children’s Hospice South West.
Sam Allen, Communications Manager for Together for Short Lives, reports that there were many activities that took place throughout the week, including a successful 24-hour social media campaign to highlight the nature of 24/7 care, launched by their Patrons, Simon Cowell and popular UK television presenter and celebrity, Holly Willoughby.
The week was also supported by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge who is a Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). She released the following statement:
“Around the clock support is crucial for children receiving palliative care. They and their families often need help every hour of every day, both in hospices and at home. As Patron of EACH, I have seen first-hand this remarkable and varied work and just how vital the support of staff and volunteers can be to the families of children with life limiting conditions. It has been wonderful to see the fantastic public support for Children’s Hospice Week over the last few days. Please continue supporting your local children’s hospice in whatever way you can.”
ITV’s This Morning programme, featured a 10-minute interview with a family whose daughter, Amber, has been diagnosed with infantile Batten Disease, a disease which affects just three children in the UK. The Jutla family are supported by the Pepper Nurses who provide a 24-hour Hospice at Home care service. Katrina McNamara (Director of Care at TFSL) was there to provide important information on palliative care and on Children’s Hospice Week.
A highlight of the week was Hero Friday – a day where everyone who supports Children’s Hospice Week is asked to dress up as their favourite hero. This day was also supported by celebrities such as Joanna Lumley, Dermot O’Leary and Rebecca Adlington.
The week also included a Parliamentary drop-in event which was attended by 68 Members of Parliament.