Visitors to Cornwallyesteryear.com will know the strength of identity of the Cornish people as well as the support that those in Cornwall show for their local community.
In September 2007 when Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) launched its Precious Lives Appeal to build Little Harbour children’s hospice in St Austell the support was felt immediately from all corners of the community and the county.
So much so that the appeal target was reached early, the build began and Cornwall’s first, and only, children’s hospice could open to families in December 2011, making 2022 Little Harbour’s 10th anniversary year.
Since then the number of families that Little Harbour supports has grown to over 140 children, their parents and siblings as well as 72 bereaved families.
Who does the hospice support?
Little Harbour, along with CHSW’s two other children’s hospices in North Devon and Bristol, supports children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses, meaning it is thought that they will not live into adulthood. Some families’ time with the hospice can be a matter of days while for others it can be many years.
What does the hospice do?
Many associate the word ‘hospice’ with being purely focussed on end of life care, and although this is part of the care offered at Little Harbour it is by no means the majority. As well as end of life care and bereavement support the hospice offers a great deal of resilience visits and stays for children and their families. These involve either visiting the hospice for the day or staying for a few nights to give parents the chance to rest and recharge their batteries while the team take over the caring responsibilities. The breaks provide the children with a change of scenery (for many it is too difficult to go on traditional family holidays) and for brothers and sisters a chance to be supported by a dedicated sibling team not only arranging fun activities but also being on hand for emotional support.
All of this is provided to families free of charge and they can either self-refer to the hospice or be referred by their medical team. For many it is a big step to accept the support from the hospice however once they have been for their first visit they usually realise that the support on offer to them far out ways their anxiety about visiting a hospice.
How is the hospice funded?
Little Harbour costs over £3 million a year to run. The hospice receives a small amount of government funding however the majority of funds have to be raised through voluntary fundraising in the local community and is made up from donations from people like you!
The hospice is lucky to be based in such a generous county with many knowing of the vital support it offers, however recovering from a global pandemic, rising living costs and world events all put strain on the pockets of potential donors.
How can you help?
The supermarket slogan of ‘Every Little Helps’ could never be more true. Of course large donations are greatly appreciated however smaller donations of pocket money, money instead of gifts for birthdays or anniversaries, even a small purchase in one of our charity shops all goes towards helping families have those precious breaks and get the vital support from the hospice team.
If you want to show your support by getting involved in an event CHSW organises a number of large fundraising events throughout the year such as the 5km Rainbow Run, the Moonlight Memory Walk and the festive Santas on the Run. Each year there are also a range of ‘bucket list’ challenges such as tandem skydives, overseas treks and cycling events which are open to people wanting to set themselves a challenge.
There are also day to day ways you can weave fundraising into your life, by joining the CHSW lottery, shopping, donating or volunteering at one of the CHSW shops or simply chatting to colleagues about how your workplace or business may be able to support.
Whatever your passion or your hobby, there are ways to fundraise while doing the things you love with the people you love and it really will make a difference to children who live in your local community.
What can I do now?
- Visit our social media pages to get a feel for what we do, read stories of families supported by the hospice and people who have been fundraising too
- Visit the Children’s Hospice South West website for even more ideas on how you could support CHSW www.chsw.org.uk CLICK HERE TO OPEN A NEW PAGE
- Spread the word – talk about CHSW to your friends and family, ask them if they know where Little Harbour is and what it does. Raising awareness is just as important as raising funds.
There is no escaping the serious nature of the work Children’s Hospice South West does, however it is also about having fun and making memories.