Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have followed Government guidance closely and have taken all measures necessary to keep everyone safe and we will continue to do that.
Whilst it continues to be a challenging time for everyone, with your support, we have been able to continue to care for local terminally ill children and their families throughout the crisis and, like everyone else, we have had to change the way we do that.
Our Chief Executive, Clare Periton said ‘we are extremely proud of all our staff and how well they have all adapted to new ways of working. Some of our care team volunteered to be seconded to other local NHS healthcare facilities be part of the wider NHS response to the crisis and we are very proud of them and look forward to welcoming them back soon.
‘We have conducted more home visits and telephone or video calls to families than ever before and we have also provided end of life care for a number of children and their families at our hospice during the lockdown period. Thanks to you, we have been able to provide vital care to local terminally ill children. Thank you, you are incredible.
‘Whilst we have been able to access some financial help from the Government, we cannot continue to care for children without public support so please continue to support us and donate to help children who need your help now’.
How we are caring for local children and their families
In order to protect our staff and the children we care for; we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel all booked respite care until further notice. Our priority at the moment is to continue to operate our service at the hospice and in the community to ensure that all children have access to specialist palliative care.
For the time being, we are able to give children and their families the following care;
- 24/7 telephone support- our care team are here to discuss any of your concerns about your child’s health (for all Coronavirus (COVID-19) queries please go to NHS 111).
- Access to telephone advice from the medical team.
- Admission for complex symptom management.
- Stepped discharge from hospital
- Admissions to address persistent symptoms
- Supportive stays
- Family support team telephone contact.
- Outreach nursing visits for symptom management.
- Bereavement support.
- Social work support
- Siblings activities and support via telephone or virtual platforms
We are constantly reviewing our admission and visiting guidance in line with Government advice.
We ask all but essential and pre-agreed visitors to refrain from visiting us at this time. Visitors will have their temperature taken and be verbally screened on arrival and will be asked to adopt the Government’s guidelines on social distancing and hygiene during their visit.
Welcome back to our shops, we’ve missed you!
Having temporarily closed all our shops on Friday 20 March 2020, we have now started a planned and phased re-opening of shops where it is safe to do so. We have introduced physical distancing and hygiene measures for our staff, volunteers and customers including contactless drop off points for donated goods to sell.
We successfully opened our first phase of shops on 25th June and over the coming weeks and months, we are slowly opening more of them. Each shop is unique in terms of staffing requirements, size and location which means we can’t open all shops at once. We are working with individual shops and will only open when it is safe to do so for shopping and donating. Keep updated by visiting our find your nearest shop page to find out more.
Our EBay shop is still trading with donated treasures so please take a look and support us online. You’ll find some great designer items on there for a fraction of the high-street prices.
In line with Government advice on social distancing, we have had to cancel or postpone all our mass participation events this year which means our income from these events has been severely affected.
Please visit the events page on our website for further updates on all our events.
What does this mean for Helen & Douglas House?
As the country begins to emerge from the crisis it is clear that we are still living with the virus and normal life as we knew it will not be returning for some time and we will continue to adapt to whatever changes we need to make in order to keep everyone safe. We want to continue to care for the terminally ill children who need us right now. Children nearing the end of their lives need our help and we want to be here for them and with your support we will be able to do so.
What can you do to help?
Undoubtedly the income we rely on from the public, our events and our shops has been affected and we plan to overcome these challenges as much as possible. As a charity, we rely almost entirely on financial support from the public to fund our work. So now, more than ever, we need your help.