Rainbows, the only hospice to care for children and young people from Nottinghamshire with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses, has launched its Christmas Appeal in the hope of raising much needed funds at this difficult time.
Across the East Midlands, Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People cares for over 450 youngsters; most of whom are facing an incredibly difficult Christmas as the pandemic has made them more isolated than before.
Having had to cancel almost all of its fundraising events this year and being forced to close its charity shops again as a result of the second lockdown, fundraising has also taken a huge hit.
Julie Taylor, Executive Nurse and Director of Clinical Operations, said: “We’ve all lost a lot this year and it’s been especially tough of course in and around the East Midlands. But for the families we care for it has been simply catastrophic. Our hospice building has been closed to all children except those needing emergency crisis care; or those needing end-of-life care during their final days. We’ve moved mountains to take our care and support out into homes around our community, but as you can imagine it has been so hard for everyone.
“Children we’ve known and cared for for years just don’t understand why we can’t give them a hug, and why we have to hide our smile behind a mask. Rainbows’ care is crucial to so many families. For many, the only time parents can relax, have a break from the constant care needs their child has is when we’re there.”
People have been very kind in supporting Rainbows throughout this year. But as the charity approaches Christmas, it is still feeling the loss of the fundraising local people would have done during the last eight months, and is calling on people to support its Christmas Appeal.
Rainbows needs help to pay for the costs of care that its incredible team provide to children and their families. It costs £69 for a Family Support Worker to drive out and spend a couple of hours with a family who are struggling at home alone. They’re there to answer questions, give advice and support to give them the best chance of coping over Christmas.
An hour of expert nursing care over the holidays, giving a child peace during their final days, will cost £36.
“I know from years of working with families like these that Christmas and the holiday season becomes just so important,” added Julie. “It’s a goal for so many families, a moment to be treasured, another milestone achieved. This Christmas will be different, harder, more isolating. And yet, for many, we know their child’s condition means it’s likely to be their last Christmas together.
“Covid means we cannot throw open our hospice’s doors as we usually do. But that doesn’t mean we’re not determined to give every child the best care, and the most love and fun, we can this Christmas. Far from it, but we are going to need your help this year.”