Praise for hospice where we can be ‘just a family’

Dawn Thompson, her daughter Lucy and son Joshua who have received invaluable help from the Forget Me Not Children's Hospice.

Dawn Thompson, her daughter Lucy and son Joshua who have received invaluable help from the Forget Me Not Children's Hospice.

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The Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is one of the four charities being supported by the Reporter Series Fund in 2013.

The hospice in Huddersfield cares for children with life-limiting conditions and their families across Kirklees and beyond, and one local family has first hand experience of the valuable service it offers.

Lucy Thompson is one of the children who the charity provides care for, and her mother Dawn said she could not praise the work it does highly enough.

“It has helped us as a family in so many ways,” said Dawn, who lives in Thornhill, Dewsbury.

“The overnight stays at Russell House really are our light at the end of the tunnel; a place where we can leave our ‘nursing’ and ‘young carer’ responsibilities behind... a place where we can just be a family.”

As well as Lucy, Dawn also has a son, Joshua.

“He is an amazing big brother who has taken on his role as Young Carer admirably,” she added.

“The Siblings Group offered by Forget Me Not is especially important for brothers and sisters just like Joshua.”

The charity has been running its Hospice at Home service for the past two years, and Russell House was opened at the end of 2012 to run alongside it.

More new staff have been recruited, and since October the number of care team members has almost doubled, taking the total up to 33.

Director of care Vicki Finlay said: “We have recruited some fantastic new staff members who have a real variety of expertise amongst them.

“The training and development of all of our staff is on track and by the start of March we will be able to offer care within Russell House on a 24/7 basis.”

In March, the hospice will be able to offer care within each of the three bedrooms, plus the Snowflake Suite – a self-maintained apartment which allows for a family to grieve over the loss of their child.

For more information about the hospice visit www.forgetmenotchild.co.uk or call 01484 411040.

* The Reporter Series Fund got off to a great start following last week’s feature when a £25 cheque was sent by a reader.

If you have any questions on how you can help contact us on 01924 468282.