Teenager Charlie lives with his parents Di and Andy and older sister Jasmine in High Wycombe. He has a rare muscular condition and a learning disability and has been coming to Helen House since he was eight years old.
‘Mention Helen House and Charlie responds with Knock, Knock, Knock. He remembers the red door. That’s his special sign for Helen House.’ Charlie’s mum and dad Di and Andy
‘He recognises it when we turn into the road and gets excited. As a parent that’s what you want. If you’re dropping your child off at respite, you want to know that they want to go there, especially when they have limited understanding.'
‘Charlie is a sociable young lad with a sense of humour. He laughs a lot and makes others laugh. Charlie associates the whole thing with fun. That helps us to come away without feeling guilty; therefore we can enjoy the break more.’
‘At Helen House you can come into this little haven where you know that all of you will be looked after, but without having to fight, without having to justify it. That’s the other thing about that door, you can go through and you know you are among people who understand.’
‘The love there is unconditional and you can cry or laugh, or switch between the two. It’s that comfort of knowing that they’ll help you get through the big things, as well as the day-to-day things.’