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Families of critically-ill children to receive help in the home from volunteers

PUBLISHED: 16:12 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:41 11 February 2020

Volunteers and coordinators of East Anglia Children's Hospices' Help at Home Service which has been launched at The Nook. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Volunteers and coordinators of East Anglia Children's Hospices' Help at Home Service which has been launched at The Nook. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Archant

Families caring for children and young people with life-threatening conditions can get practical home support thanks to an army of volunteers.

Terri Marpole, volunteer at  East Anglia Children's Hospices' Help at Home Service which has been launched at The Nook. Picture: Lauren De Boise.Terri Marpole, volunteer at East Anglia Children's Hospices' Help at Home Service which has been launched at The Nook. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

The Help at Home service, run by East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), has spread to Norfolk after the charity moved into its new central Norfolk base - called the Nook - in Framingham Earl late last year.

Margaret Hickman Smith, volunteer at  East Anglia Children's Hospices' Help at Home Service which has been launched at The Nook. Picture: Lauren De Boise.Margaret Hickman Smith, volunteer at East Anglia Children's Hospices' Help at Home Service which has been launched at The Nook. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Before then it could not run in the county due to limited space at the charity's former Norfolk hospice in Quidenham.

Jobs including sibling support, homework help, shopping, collecting prescriptions, housework and cleaning, clearing out rooms and helping families move house, gardening, and dog walking are carried out in family homes by volunteers through the Help at Home service.

It started in 2016 at the EACH Suffolk Treehouse hospice after families raised the need for general home support to EACH royal patron the Duchess of Cambridge.

Kelty Haddock, volunteer co-ordinator at the Nook, said: "I'm excited about this service. Our nurses and carers can see what a difference it can make. The Help at Home service is run completely by volunteers. We couldn't run it without them. What they do is give practical help to families.

"A lot of the families we help are so busy. Practical jobs around the house put pressure on them because they spend so much time at hospital appointments or on long stays at hospital.

"If they know someone is coming into help them with their housework it is a massive support to them. A lot of families are really welcoming of the service."

The service also runs in Cambridgeshire and the volunteer co-ordinator described Help at Home as very successful.

But she appealed for volunteers from all areas of Norfolk.

She added: "Anyone that has the time can volunteer."

Volunteer Terri Marpole, from Norwich, said: "It is an honour and a privilege to do something to make a difference to someone's life."

For more information visit www.each.org.uk

Support for EACH has also come from staff at Suffolk-based Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and Fred Olsen Ltd who raised over £450 by walking, jogging or swimming 894 miles in one week - the distance from their Ipswich offices to their headquarters in Oslo, Norway.

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