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.
With announcement of another national lockdown to save lives and protect the NHS, it continues to be a challenging time for everyone. We hope you and your families are OK.
With your support, we were able to continue to care for local terminally ill children and their families throughout the crisis last year and we will continue to do so in 2021. 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
Our priority 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 which include giving families a break from the intensity of caring for a sick child
- 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 continuing to review our admission and visiting guidance in line with Government advice.
We are in the process of introducing COVID-19 tests for all staff, children, and visitors coming on site so you may be asked to take a test on arrival and access will be subject to a negative result.
All visitors and staff are expected to follow the Government’s guidelines on social distancing and hygiene whilst on site.
Our shops will reopen on 12 April 2021
In line with Government restrictions, most of our shops will re-open on 12 April 2021 and we are really looking forward to welcoming you back. Please remember to wear a mask when you come into the shop and use the hand sanitisers available to use in the shop.
If you have items you would like to donate to one of our shops please bring them during opening hours. Please do not leave any donations outside our shops. We are unable to collect or deliver any furniture at this time. You can find details of all our shops and their opening hours here (link to shops on the website please Andy).
Our eBay shop is still trading with donated treasures so if you can’t get to a shop in person, 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?
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.