Generous customers at Fuller’s pubs have helped to raise £100,000 for Shooting Star Chase through Pennies, the digital charity box.
Pennies, itself a charity, gives customers the option to donate a few pence to charity when they pay by card, giving them an anonymous and affordable way to donate. In just over two years since Fuller’s has been working with Pennies, its customers have raised a phenomenal £100,000 for the children’s hospice charity.
This amazing amount could fund a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Shooting Star Chase for two years. The role, part of the Symptom Care Team, has specialist knowledge and skills in symptom management and end-of-life care. The team are based at both hospices in Guildford and Hampton, but also see children in all care settings including home, hospital or school. They work with referrals from antenatal to 18 years with complex symptom management issues, as well as leading on end of life management.
Tracie Lewin-Taylor, Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at Shooting Star Chase said, “The role of a CNS is very varied and no two days are ever the same. You require skill to manage one situation and then move to another sometimes in the space of a few minutes. It is a very autonomous role that sees in the region of 110 children and young people each year, and is the lead specialist team for around 30 deaths per year.
The role gives the opportunity to meet some remarkable children, young people and their families. I’m very lucky to work in an amazing team who go above and beyond to meet the ever changing needs of our families in such a difficult time.”
One such family Tracie and her team worked closely with were Orla’s. Following a devastating diagnosis of Jeune Syndrome during pregnancy, parents Helen and Ben didn’t think they’d get more than a few hours with their baby. But Orla came out fighting and the family spent three days together, making precious memories they’ll never forget.
Helen Browne, mum to Orla, “We had a look round the Shooting Star Chase hospice in Guildford and we really liked it. We were told we could go there after Orla was born whatever happened. In the end we got three days at Christopher’s with her, which we never thought would happen.”
Orla passed away peacefully in the Sensory Room surrounded by her family. “We stayed at Christopher’s for another week. Finley (their son) had loads of fun while my husband and I got to spend time with Orla. The team helped us create memories and keepsakes – hand and foot prints, photos, casts, finger and thumb prints and a lock of hair. We treasure them all and they help keep Orla’s memory alive.”
“When you’re only going to have such a small amount of time you want that time to be as good as it can be. There isn’t anything we look back on and wish we’d have done differently. Given the circumstances it couldn’t have been any better, Shooting Star Chase gave us three days together with Orla getting to see and do things we never dreamt would be possible and creating family memories we’ll never forget.”
Alison Hutchinson CBE, CEO of Pennies added: “We’re delighted that Fuller’s customers have donated so generously – in their hundreds of thousands – for Shooting Star Chase. To know the money raised could go on to fund Clinical Nurse Specialists working directly with life limited children like Orla, is inspiring and humbling. The pennies really do add up to give small change a big purpose and it’s a pleasure to support their vital work.”
Pennies is just one of the ways Fuller’s customers and staff have helped to raise a massive £680,000 since their partnership in 2012. Their amazing support goes on to making every moment count for families like Orla’s.