Fun in the House for Children’s Hospice Week

27 May 2016
Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th May marks Children’s Hospice Week. The national initiative, coordinated by charity Together for Short Lives, aims to raise public understanding of what life is like for families of children and young people with life-limiting illnesses.

As part of the weeks’ activities, Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People has been sharing some special family moments and celebrating its vital role in supporting families, across West, North and East Yorkshire.

Starlight Children's Foundation brought a big dose of sunshine to the children and young people staying at the hospice this week when its Storytellers Tour paid a visit. Starlight is a national charity that grants wishes for seriously and terminally ill children and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK. This year’s stories were produced exclusively for Starlight by The Panto Company, who performed Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood and Pinocchio. Fully interactive, the adaptations of the well-loved children’s classics proved a big hit with children, parents and staff.

On Tuesday, hospice staff, volunteers and families donned their best capes and props and enjoyed being superheroes for the day. Children, parents and siblings shared lots of giggles taking part in a superhero photo shoot and the hospice’s artist in residence was on hand to encourage all members of the family to get creative and make their own heroic artwork.

The week also saw Martin House launch its new fundraising video, demonstrating the significance of hospice care for families across the region. Focused entirely on the families and young people receiving care, the video shares some very personal stories about Martin House and the challenges of both living with a life-limiting illness and caring for a child with complex medical needs and a shortened life-expectancy. The video is available to view online on the hospice’s website and social media channels.

Director of Care, Sheila O’Leary, said: “The theme of this year’s Children’s Hospice Week is “Time to put families first” and this truly encapsulates what Martin House is all about. We always aim to support the whole family, whether this care takes place at the hospice itself, in hospital, or in family’s own homes.

“For the family of a child with a life-limiting illness, spending quality time together can be a huge challenge. Martin House offers a lifeline for them, enabling them time and space to share special moments and make lasting memories. However, with the majority of our services provided by voluntary donations and fundraising, we can only continue to do this with the support of our local communities”

Members of the public are encouraged to get involved and support the hospice through donations of goods at their local Martin House shop, making a donation online, or signing up to an event. They can find out more about Children’s Hospice Week and how they can support Martin House throughout the year online.