I look at these kids and I give them care with my whole heart

Some of them can’t talk, they can’t move. But then you get a little smile on their face, meaning they are telling you “thank you.” It’s a fulfilment and joy that we have in caring for them.

The last year has been emotional. Everyone is conscious that they don’t want to bring anything into the hospice that will compromise anyone's health. We have been fortunate as a team to stick together, to be a shoulder to each other, to help and listen, and to focus on the goal of caring for these kids, whilst thinking about parents that are at home; how are they coping?

We were open for step-down care and emergency respite. To ensure everyone's safety, anyone who was coughing or had a temperature was advised to stay at home. As you can imagine, it naturally brought about strain on the team. Despite this, we have to manage and pull through for the sake of the children that we have at hand. We had three ventilated children and that was a big thing. We had never had that before, but you can’t send them into the hospital where they can contract something. So, we say “this is our calling, this is what we have to do.”

The most joyful thing I would say is when one of our children sent a message through, stating that he misses us so much and can’t wait for COVID to go. We miss them too, we can’t wait for them to come in. Seeing them around the hospice brings the place alive. The parents of these kids have been so appreciative for having them at the hospice for respite stay, because they wouldn’t know what they would have done otherwise.

Sometimes I get home and I relax in the chair and think “oh, what a day”. But you know what? You reflect and say “at least you were able to help a child”.

Things have not been the same as before the pandemic. But it's not the end for us. We can do better and we can go a long way to help these children.

Our Care Team has been pushed to their limits. But seriously ill children still need their care. You can support Janet to stop her reaching breaking point.

  • £5 could provide messy play supplies Janet can use to help seriously ill children develop during lockdown.
  • £10 could cover the cost of PPE to protect Janet through her next shift.
  • £20 could provide an appropriate toy or game for Janet to play with a child staying in residential, helping them to develop and have fun.

Support Janet this Children's Hospice Week