From the moment a child is diagnosed with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, everything changes. And these changes affect the whole family. Richard House Children’s Hospice supports children and their families to lead as positive and happy a life as possible when living with a life-limiting health condition, such as heart failure, muscular dystrophy and cancer.
Our purpose built hospice, based in the ethnically diverse borough of Newham, is London’s first children’s hospice and situated in one of the UK’s most deprived areas. Our key services include respite and palliative care, symptom management, urgent care, end of life care, music and multi-sensory therapy, family activities, trips, outings and bereavement support. These services have been available to around 300 families each year since 2000 across London.
For the families that we support, the last 18 months have been the hardest of their lives. But, they would have been so much harder without our nurses and care staff who have tirelessly delivered services to vulnerable children and families throughout the pandemic. From the moment the Covid-19 threat reached us, our nurses have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that we could continue to deliver palliative care to East London’s most unwell children.
Our nurses put Richard House families above their own, some even sleeping at the hospice to keep children safe. They put the lives of the children they care for above their own, turning up every single day, even when it was physically exhausting and emotionally draining.
“This is our calling. This is what we have to do.” – Richard House nurse
Without these nurses, Richard House would not exist.
And yet, after the toughest time in their careers, we are now facing the very real prospect of cutting services- leaving families without support and leaving us unable to reach those who are desperate for our care.
This year, we have seen our funding drop and are facing a shortfall of £500,000. Such a shortfall will force us to decide which families we can continue to support and where we will have no choice but to withdraw our care.
Supporting this urgent appeal will help us to ensure we can continue to provide vital, life-changing support to children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.