During Children’s Hospice Week, Monica visited Robin House Children’s Hospice in Balloch to learn about the issues surrounding paediatric palliative care in Scotland.
Monica spent the day at Robin House with staff and volunteers from Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS), who run the hospice, to appreciate directly the effort, dedication and resources required to care for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions.
The theme for this year’s Children’s Hospice Week was “Moments That Matter” and Monica’s visit allowed her to meet families who use the hospice and hear from their experiences of using the hospice. She heard how support from all the staff and volunteers had allowed them to receive vital support, respite and most importantly to create joyful moments with their child, moments that matter.
Monica’s visit has allowed CHAS to highlight the misconception that children hospices are dark and gloomy places, instead showing them as joyful, colourful places providing vital support systems that help families make the most of their time together.
A recent YouGov survey found that 20% of the GB public do not know what children’s hospices are. Children’s Hospice Week’s raises awareness of what children’s hospices mean to seriously ill children and families, to celebrate the lifeline care they provide and show how they support families to make precious memories. It’s hoped that by changing perceptions around children’s hospices that more families caring for seriously ill children seek help from their local hospice.
Across Lanarkshire, CHAS have supported almost 100 people in the last year. The care received by families includes CHAS at Home service, respite and end of life care in the hospices. Of the 33 babies, children and young people directly supported in Lanarkshire, CHAS is a tower of strength and continues to break down preconceived ideas about children’s hospices.
Monica said: “I’d like to thank CHAS for their invitation to visit Robin House during Children’s Hospice Week, and for the opportunity to learn more about what they do.
“It was clear to me that the work that CHAS do is phenomenal, providing vital support and comfort to children and their families at one of the most difficult periods of their life.
“I’ll continue do all I can to support and promote the work of CHAS in Parliament and beyond, to ensure that they get the support and resources they need to continue to carry out their important role in supporting families.”