East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice hosted a special afternoon for young people, at Arthur Rank Hospice in Shelford Bottom, last week (Wednesday 28 August). The collaborative event was the second in a series of three, designed to introduce young people approaching the age of 18, and their families, to the care and services available to them.
Nine families, who either currently or have previously accessed the care and services of EACH, visited the Hospice. They were welcomed by familiar faces from EACH and were introduced to staff and volunteers from Arthur Rank Hospice and Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, as they made their way around the afternoon’s activities.
Highlights of the afternoon included accessible sports such as sitting volley ball, boccia and new age kurling organised by Power2Inspire in the garden, virtual reality headsets provided by Lifelites in The Sanctuary and Qigong sessions led by Diego from Cloudhands in the gym.
There was also a duck money-box painting station, complementary therapies in Arthur’s Shed with staff and volunteers offering head, foot and hand massage and a sensory space in one of the Day Therapy rooms with space blankets, soothing music and light therapy.
The Hospice’s Bistro laid on one of its famous barbeques, which was enjoyed by the visitors, staff and guests alike.
Lucy Brumpton, Young Persons’ and Transition Lead, comments:
“Yesterday was a great testament to what can be achieved when we all work together. These families really need our support as they navigate the transition from children to adult hospice services. By teaming up, our three hospices gave these young people – as well as their parents, siblings and carers -the best possible introduction to what is available for them.”
“Many of the families had been anxious about visiting an adult Hospice before the day, but the feedback afterwards was overwhelmingly positive with comments that it had been “so inclusive”, “lots of fun”, “very relaxing”, “well-organised” and that it was wonderful for families to be able to participate in activities all together”.
One family member added:
“We weren’t really all that sure about what to expect from the day, but the activities have been brilliant. It’s been lovely: really, really nice. We’ve had a tour round, so we’ve seen quite a bit more of the facilities and met lots of the staff and they’re all fantastic.”
Sara Robins, Director of Clinical Services at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity feels the day really summed up what hospices are trying to achieve:
“What stood out to me, was the atmosphere. There was such a buzz and the whole day was very inclusive. We would like to say a special thank you to Lifelites for hosting our virtual reality experience and Power2Inspire who put on some brilliant and truly accessible games.
The barbeque put on by our brilliant Bistro team at lunchtime was enjoyed not only the families visiting and supporting the day, but also by volunteers, our patients and their visitors, and guests from the local community: people shared tables and chatted to each other about their reasons for being there.
Some of the people being cared for on our Inpatient Unit even came around to socialise and enjoy the activities, giving the young people visiting us – and their relatives – a chance to chat to hear about the Hospice, in more general terms. The afternoon was a great example of what can be achieved to benefit those we care for, when we work together.”
Following this event and the one held in May at the EACH Hospice at Milton, there will be third open day for young people in transition, taking place at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough during the October half term on 23 October, again hosted collaboratively by the three hospices.
Photos from the day can be seen on the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity Facebook album page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ArthurRankHospiceCharity/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10156827048993920