Shooting Star Chase’s London-based hospice, Shooting Star House, celebrated a decade of care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families with a host of activities this summer, culminating in a special party held last week.
Our annual Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester in May and the hospice’s siblings’ day in August both had a 10th birthday theme, and were followed on Saturday 12th September by a celebratory event at Shooting Star House in Hampton.
Guests at the party included families supported over the ten years and some from day one. Jordan Barfoot, now 15, was guest of honour as the very first child through the doors in 2005 and helped Head of Care, Sandi Hillery, cut the birthday cake made by the hospice’s chefs.
Also in attendance were those involved in turning the dream of Shooting Star House into a reality -including long-serving fundraisers and volunteers, founder Kathryn Turner MBE, former chief executive Dalton Leong and Patron Sir Vince Cable.
The party included visits from lovable characters including Jack Sparrow and Cinderella, face painting, games and a performance from the Shooting Star House ukulele band.
Helen Sibley, Director of Care at Shooting Star Chase said:
“Within the first month of Shooting Star House opening we welcomed 26 children with life-limiting conditions and now, ten years on, we’ve cared for a total of 865. The hospice has also supported 1059 siblings at our siblings’ groups and remembered 326 children at our memory days.
“All the staff and volunteers at Shooting Star House are so proud to be celebrating ten years of vital care for sick children in our local area in 2015, and we look forward to helping even more families who so desperately need our support over the coming years.”
Shooting Star House was the dream of Kathryn Turner MBE, who set up a charity in 1995 with the aim of providing a home-from-home environment offering medical, practical and emotional services free of charge to families in south-west London. The charity was named Shooting Star Trust in recognition of children with life-limiting conditions who, like shooting stars, shine bright but are gone far too soon.
After seven years raising the £6 million required to build the hospice, and a further three years’ construction, Shooting Star House opened on 5 August 2005. In 2011Shooting Star House Children’s Hospice in Hampton and CHASE in Guildford merged to become Shooting Star Chase.
Tina Barfoot, Jordan’s mum, said:
“I’m so thankful we decided to go to Shooting Star House that first night. They’ve given us so much support and life without them over the last ten years would have been a struggle.
“Getting a break isn’t easy when you have a child with a disability because you don’t really feel comfortable leaving them in someone else’s care – but at Shooting Star House it’s different. I know the care there is amazing so I never worry.”