The Donna Louise Hospice for Children & Young People provides specialist care and support to children with life-shortening conditions in the Staffordshire and South Cheshire area. They provide a lifeline to families who are faced with the heartbreaking knowledge that they will outlive their child. However long or short a child’s life may be, The Donna Louise are there for families every step of the way, from diagnosis up until they are no longer needed.
In March 2021, The Donna Louise amalgamated with the Douglas Macmillan Hospice (Dougie Mac) in order to provide a broad spectrum of end of life and palliative care for children, young people, and adults. Operating across two sites and in the community, the ultimate aim is to ensure that local people and their families receive the care and support they need.
Care for Families
Fun For Families - Making every moment count is the main priority at the hospice, which is why they provide fun-filled activities tailored to meet each child or young person’s individual needs. Whether it’s messy play, family fun days or even just an Xbox gaming session, there’s something for every child. Their activities extend to siblings and parents too, from sleepovers for siblings to go-karting for Dads and pampering for Mums. In addition, the whole family is invited to express themselves through art or music therapy.
Respite - Whether it’s for a few hours, a few days, or even longer, the respite stays at the hospice are often a lifeline for families. For the child or young person, it’s the opportunity for a mini-holiday where they can have fun and play with their friends, while for parents and carers, it’s the chance to recharge their batteries and take some well-earned time for themselves. Families also have the opportunity to stay at the hospice with their child, where they can relax and enjoy precious time together all the while knowing that their child’s needs are being met. In addition, the charity is able to provide care for children and young people at home, so that parents and carers can enjoy a few hours off while their child is being looked after in an environment they know.
Belonging - Everyone who comes to the hospice essentially becomes part of one big family. Parents and siblings can spend time with other families faced with similar circumstances - siblings can enjoy sleepover weekends and youth clubs, and there’s support groups for parents and carers, allowing them to draw support and strength from each other.
Support - The hospice is there for families every step of the way, no matter what point they’re at in their journey. Their counsellors are there to provide tailored emotional support via groups or one to one sessions, while each family is allocated a Care Coordinator to help them navigate appointments and point them in the right direction of services and support available from the charity and the wider community.
How Your Support Can Make a Difference
The charity relies heavily on the generosity of fundraisers and supporters in order to continue being there for the families who need it the most. You can help keep their vital services running and provide a lifeline for children, young people and their families by casting your vote in our charity poll.
To find out more about the charity, or to make a donation, visit their website: https://www.thedonnalouise.org/