"Martin House has inspired me to work for charity. When I am older, I would like to be either a fund raiser or a care worker and Martin House has inspired me to do this because of what I have learned there."
It is always special for us when our children and young people choose to share their stories about Martin House. So when we heard nine-year-old Isabella had chosen the hospice as the subject of her school project, we couldn’t wait to read it.
Isabella’s younger sister, Livia, died at Martin House last year at just 4 months old. Though Isabella spent only a brief time at the hospice herself, she has fond memories of both her time there and time spent with her sister:
“We stayed for a day and overnight and I got to watch Mamma Mia and make things in the art room. After the funeral, I was allowed to take my two best friends back to the hospice so that we could spend some time together. It was really nice of them to let me do that.
“We have lots of things from Martin House to help us remember Livia, like a little magnet with her fingerprints on, and I keep some of them in my memory box along with things I collected when we went to different places with her.”
As well as being a keen footballer, Isabella is a big fan of Enid Blyton’ s Famous Five series and loves writing her own stories. When school offered her the chance to take part in a writing competition about an inspirational person or place, she relished the opportunity and was awarded a medal for her efforts.
“The people who work there are truly inspirational because they make a difference to people’s lives in a good way. Most people you meet who have been to Martin House will say that they are sad about what happened but happy about what came from it. Martin House always makes people happier.”
Over the past months, Isabella and younger brother, Tom, have attended our Time 4 Us 2 siblings group. The group offers bereaved siblings time to reflect on their feelings following the death of their brother or sister, and to make friends with other children in a similar situation:
“It’s not always easy to talk to my friends at school but I’ve made some good friends at the group and it’s easy to talk to them because they understand better. We designed our own t-shirts last time and I’m looking forward to wearing them when we go to camp.”
Isabella and her friends in this year’s group will soon be spending a weekend together at Lineham Farm. As well as enjoying fun activities and learning to care for the animals, the group will take their specially made memory lanterns on a ‘midnight walk’ through the woods. We hope that all the children have a fabulous time and that Isabella has lots to write about when she gets home.