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Make a difference this Christmas

November 24, 2022

Alissa Colucci-Jones, one of our Family Support Workers shares how, with your support, we can help families make lasting memories with our Christmas appeal.

“Throughout the year our hospices are filled with decorations, colour, laughter and love – and Christmas is no exception. While many children across the country are writing their letters to Santa, our families are wishing for something different, time together, time to create precious memories.

The children we care for are seriously ill and some are very sadly nearing the end of their lives. Your kind support helps us provide nursing care and specialist support to children and their families, when it feels like their whole world is falling apart.

We’re here to help make every moment count, and Christmas is the perfect opportunity for families to enjoy magical moments they can treasure. This is so important because for some families this Christmas could be the last one they spend together.

Your support can help us create precious moments of comfort and joy. We understand that life is challenging at the moment with the cost-of-living crisis and will be deeply grateful for whatever you can give.

“Beth just loves swimming! Temperature changes can be a seizure trigger, so until Beth went in the hydrotherapy pool at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, she had never been swimming. She now absolutely loves being in the water and goes fortnightly thanks to the family splash sessions that are available to us.”

Jen, Beth’s mum

You’ll find examples below of how your Christmas donation could help us provide specialist therapies and support for children and families in our care.

The gifts may look quite simple, but each one can make a huge difference to the children we support and to their families. For example, Charlotte would welcome a moment for herself. She can be in hospital for months on end with her little boy Jacob, it’s stressful and can take its toll.

Jacob was born with a rare condition called VACTERL, a group of birth defects that occur together. Our team spends time with Jacob in hospital so Charlotte can have a break. Knowing Jacob is in safe hands, means Charlotte can relax.

“It makes me so happy to see how much fun Jacob has during the sessions. I’m so grateful to Shooting Star Children’s Hospices for all that they do for families.”

Charlotte, Jacob’s mum

Whatever we can do to ease pain and bring comfort, we will. We support over 2,000 people including seriously ill children and their families. They can count on us 365 days a year – and we’ll be there for children needing end-of-life care at the hospice, at home or in hospital over Christmas.

People often ask how I do my job. My answer is always the same; the good days are incredible; and the bad days are incomparable, but the sentiment always remains the same, I am privileged to be involved in making those moments just a little bit easier for the children and families who are my personal heroes. Plus, I’ve seen for myself just how treasured these precious memories are.

A few Christmases ago we had a young person staying with us whose condition had sadly deteriorated. He knew it would be his last Christmas, so we wanted to make it extra special. He and I would steal moments together to work on a surprise for his family.

Thank You

On Christmas Day they were overwhelmed to each receive individual clay Christmas decorations, which were personalised with their initials. He may have lost his sight, but he worked so hard to create these special items for them using his other senses and I know his family still treasure their gifts to this day.

You’re helping to create these special moments too as one of our valued supporters, and by donating you are helping us continue to care and to create more lasting memories for more children and families who may not have much time left together.”