Need our care?
Christmas is a precious time of year. However, it is not usually the presents we remember in future years but the memories and traditions that we make. Christmas is really important to us at Helen & Douglas House and we rely on your donations to help us continue to support the local children and families who rely on our care at this time of year, and all year round.
At Helen & Douglas House, we believe every child deserves a magical Christmas. This means something different for everyone, but for the children we care for it could mean making sure they can enjoy Christmas traditions together as a family and make precious memories that will last a lifetime, even when that life is short.
We are here for local children living with life-shortening or terminal health conditions, for both respite and end-of-life care. Hannah, who is a seven-year-old triplet and lives with life-shortening conditions, was referred to Helen & Douglas House when her family were struggling to cope with her increasing health issues and caring for her 24/7, whilst also looking after her triplet sisters.
Hannah’s family knew very little about the hospice before they came, but they knew they needed support. They had two lively triplet girls under 4 and Hannah who is disabled and needed care day and night. This Christmas we met with Hannah and her family at the hospice. Her parents told us what life is like for them now and how Helen & Douglas House has made a difference to them all;
‘As parents, it is hard to see our gorgeous triplets growing up together with such differing needs. Amelia and Nicola are two very healthy outgoing little girls, but knowing that their sister, Hannah, won’t always have the same opportunities as them, because she is disabled, needs constant care and lives with life-changing conditions, is very difficult for us.’
‘Life with triplets is lively and exhausting, but when one lives with cerebral palsy and global development delay it became impossible for us to cope.’
‘Helen & Douglas House has become an important life-line for us and enabled us as a family to spend some quality time together. Hannah requires care and attention for everything from medication to food and for comfort which means that most of our time at home involves looking after her needs. During a visit to the hospice, the staff are there to look after Hannah’s care and medication, which means we have the rare chance to have some down-time together. It might sound simple, but we can take a trip into town with Hannah’s sisters to get them some Christmas clothes, or just watch a Christmas film with them without having to break in the middle to give Hannah her medication.’
‘Christmas at Helen & Douglas House is very special as the hospice has come to feel like a home-from-home. Our visits give us the chance to do things together as a family that we just couldn’t do normally. The girls have dressed up with their favourite Disney princesses and fed visiting reindeer, creating magical Christmas memories that our family will always treasure’.
‘The hospice has also helped us to accept the limitations we have as a family, whilst enabling us to do things we didn’t feel possible. Without them, we are not sure now how we would cope. This year we are hoping for a magical Christmas for our girls and asking you to make a donation to Helen & Douglas House to help the local children and families who like us, rely on care and support from the hospice all year round.’
Merry Christmas to you and your family this festive season!
This year’s stunning Christmas Appeal video was created pro bono by David O’Dwyer from DOD Media Ltd. who didn’t only donate his time and professional video editing skills to make it happen but also donated a piece of music to it.