‘The early signs are extremely good’ - promising start to £10m East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices appeal

The Duchess of Cambridge at the Norfolk Showground to launch the East Anglia's Children's Hospices t

The Duchess of Cambridge at the Norfolk Showground to launch the East Anglia's Children's Hospices the nook appeal. Cerys Emeerith-Burley, left, 7; presents a posy to the Duchess, with her friend, Caitlyn Chesher-Brazier, 8; both from Queen's Hills Primary School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

The Duchess of Cambridge and pop star Ed Sheeran championed their appeal in a whirlwind launch week.

The East Anglia's Children's Hospice at Quidenham.Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

The East Anglia's Children's Hospice at Quidenham.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Now workers at East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) are measuring how the swell of public support for their £10m hospice vision has translated into cash pledges.

The charity, which cares for the region's seriously sick children, wants to build a new hospice called the nook, in Framingham Earl.

Appeal organisers are encouraging people to donate £10 this Christmas to the nook appeal, which is backed by the Eastern Daily Press.

And Simon Hempsall, of EACH, said he was heartened by the response to the campaign so far.

The East Anglia's Children's Hospice at Quidenham. Service manager Jane Campbell.Picture by SIMON FI

The East Anglia's Children's Hospice at Quidenham. Service manager Jane Campbell.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

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'It's very early days as far as the appeal is concerned, but the early signs are extremely good,' he said.

'The number of calls and emails into our fundraising office have been encouraging, as are the pledges of support from the many people who were in the room at Tuesday's launch event. The important things is for those pledges to turn into funding and for the team at EACH to support the public in all the ways they want to give and fundraise.

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'This week, we will work hard to measure the response in terms of income and will share that in the pages of the EDP as soon as we can.

'In the meantime, I urge anyone who can help, no matter how much, to get in touch with us.

'Together, we can make this vision – a vision so important to families in Norfolk – a reality.'

Ideas so far to raise the £10m to build the much-needed hospice have included businesses making EACH their charity of the year, a fundraising concert and various community events.

And the appeal has got off to a dream start since the Duchess of Cambridge launched it at the Norfolk Showground six days ago.

Music sensation Ed Sheeran, who is an ambassador for EACH, donated his clothing to raise funds for the nook appeal on Friday.

Sheeran donated 21 items which will be auctioned on eBay – the auction can be accessed from www.each.org.uk/ed-auction and will run until 8pm on December 5.

And the public have also leapt into action, with a string of events which are set to boost efforts to raise the £10m total.

Fundraising fixtures in the diary include the Santa Run along Great Yarmouth seafront on December 7, and a charity golf day organised by the Rotary Club of Swaffham next year.

Mr Hempsall praised support for the appeal.

'The EDP coverage has been incredible and we couldn't have got off to a better start as far as the media campaign is concerned,' he said. 'We are so grateful to the terrific team at the EDP for honouring their promise of supporting this appeal, absolutely.'

The appeal will also be championed by the weekly sister papers of the EDP around the region.

What are you doing for the nook appeal? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

My role in my own words - Jane Campbell, EACH service manager at Quidenham

'My role as service manager is to ensure the delivery of excellent palliative care to children with life-threatening illness and their families. I believe passionately in palliative care which delivers compassionate and rigorous care in a timely way. This includes symptom management, psychological and wellbeing support and care in the widest sense, from looking after families by feeding them, to caring for children with highly complex and technical medical needs.

'As the service manager I have a responsibility to ensure staff are well trained and competent to care for any children and families who are referred and accepted for services from EACH and that care is delivered in a clinically robust environment, whether in the hospice, at home, or in other community settings.

'We are very lucky at EACH to have access to a broad spectrum of professionals. This includes not just nurses and carers, but a variety of therapists including a physio, occupational therapist, art, play and music therapists as well as clinical nurse specialists, psychologist and palliative care nurse and medical consultants for advice. We also have excellent support staff and volunteers, who ensure that the building and grounds are clean and well maintained and that, importantly, meals are ready when required. We are also able to offer time to children and families – a valuable resource in the very busy world of the NHS and social care.

'The hospice at Quidenham has offered a haven for many families over many years, with staff who are committed to delivering individualised care. It is not a place of gloom, but one of support and fun at difficult times for families. It was recently described by a mum whose daughter died with us as 'an oasis'.

'As children's needs become more complex and care more technical, it is evident that our current location is not big enough. We are unable to offer hydrotherapy on site, as we have no pool and a huge amount of work has gone into sourcing the right pool with good accessibility to do this off site.

'The corridors are narrow, presenting a challenge to children with large wheelchairs and lots of extra equipment, such as oxygen, ventilators and feeding pumps. We currently deliver care on two floors with a very small lift and are constrained by the size of our bedrooms, meaning we have to decide which children we can have in at the same time, as certain beds fit into certain rooms and cannot be moved around – so children who need a specific bed, such as the Tomcot, can only come in when it is vacant.

'We have grown our wellbeing team over the years and are now very lucky to have a music and art therapist – both of whom have equipment and products to store. We have had to put a shed up in the garden to store some of the larger moving and handling equipment as space is currently at such a premium in the hospice.

'I am very excited by the prospect of a new hospice, with large indoor and outdoor spaces offering easy access for anyone with mobility difficulties. Better storage space will offer the opportunity to develop services without having to consider whether we can accommodate any more equipment to do so.

'Our accommodation for parents will be much larger and more integrated so that we can better support parents and families who are staying. We will have a lovely hydrotherapy pool, meaning we can provide all-year-round services rather than the six week blocks currently being delivered, and purpose-built therapy rooms for art, music and counselling.

'We will be able to have our groups (sibling and bereavement support) on site rather than miles from the hospice as we will have the capacity for them at the nook. Due to the new location, we will have improved ambulance response times in an emergency and better access to our local hospital with the possibility of consultant paediatricians seeing their patients at the hospice if necessary.

'The location will also allow much easier access to our services for families from North, West and East Norfolk, while maintaining it for families from Norwich, South Norfolk and North Suffolk.'

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