I want to talk about EACH this week.
EACH are East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. They offer care and support for children and young people with life-threatening conditions as well as offering support to their families throughout Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. This includes offering the families of the children and young people they care for flexibility and control about where they receive that care and support, including the most painful choice of all, where their child dies: which can be at their home, in hospital or at one of their three hospices, either in Milton (near Cambridge), The Nook (at Framingham Earl, near Norwich) or at The Treehouse in Ipswich.
Each of these hospices are places where EACH are able to provide safe, effective, well led and responsive care to children, young people and their families and in premises that are registered with the CQC* (the Care Quality Commission, who regulate all health and social care services in England). Each of the hospices is different in size and design but, for all their individual uniqueness, they are all able to provide one thing in common, absolute and committed quality of care that enables them to accommodate multiple children and young people as well as, again, their families.
EACH delivers its exceptional care in a variety of settings that are offered either at home or in the hospice of the families choice. It’s provided by a rich and varied array of care giving experts; qualified nurses, clinical nurse specialists, care assistants, play specialists, music therapists, art therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, a family therapist, spiritual care advisors, chaplains, a consultant nurse plus their chefs and housekeeping staff.
All part of a wonderfully dedicated team who work all day, every day and on every day of the year. Whatever the child or young person’s needs, whatever the family needs, these people are there for you.
And when you are in the sort of heartbreaking place that means that you need to make use of EACH’s exceptional facilities and staff, the knowledge that they are there for you 24/7 is something very very special and reassuring.
EACH also provide the option of day care and short breaks for the child or young adult you are caring for at home. Because you will need to be with them for 24 hours a day and seven days a week, they realise just how much of a strain, both physically and emotionally, that can place on you and your family life.
So EACH offers these day care and short break services to help ease the pressure on you a little.
There’ll certainly be lots for your child to do, even if they are only going to be at the hospice for a day’s break! They have access to several activities, including play, music and art & craft, or, alternately, they might enjoy using the hospices sensory rooms or outside spaces.
EACH is, of course, a charity. So it relies heavily on voluntary donations to help support the services they are able to offer everyone who uses them. Donations made last year meant that they were able to give 458 children and young people care and support whilst giving end of life care to 35 families.
Our children and young people are precious. So is EACH and all the remarkable people who work or volunteer with them.
The photo at the top of the page shows me with EACH Head of Marketing Simon Hempsall at The Nook. It was great to be able to get along and pay a visit as well as to meet Simon. EACH are one of the charities that I support and will, no doubt, continue to be at the forefront of my mind as I continue organising the fund raising events that I am currently planning for the remainder of this year as well as into 2023.
I’m going to be busy. But I wouldn’t want life any other way.
Here’s to EACH. I salute each and every one of you.
*In 2020, the CQC rated all three of EACH’s hospices as ‘Outstanding’. Their reports are available on the EACH website which is www.each.org.uk.