3 February 2011
Our new children’s day care service at the hospice is now open!
From Monday, this much needed service run by staff and volunteers, aims to provide children with opportunities for specialist sensory and educational activities linked to a different theme each week.
The finishing touches were just being added to a colourful interactive seascape mural by graphic artist Jacqueline Monroe and the children made lanterns for this week’s theme – Chinese New Year. The ribbon was cut by 16-year-old Jack Kelsey who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in November.
Day Care project leader, Jennie Collier, has been working on getting the service up and running for the past four months. It will run from 10.30am to 4pm and there are places for six children initially. Two rooms and a kitchen will also be put at their disposal. The government-funded service is intended for children who do not attend school or do not attend full time and it will continue to run through the holidays.
Children’s Services Manager, Jeanette Farrow, said: ‘A lot of our children have such limited abilities and giving them a sense of achievement through these activities will build their self esteem. It will also provide a short break for their parents who can go off and do everything they need to do.’ She added: ‘It wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful volunteers. Their dedication, commitment, energy and enthusiasm are just brilliant. They’re willing to do everything. They just want to muck in.’
Jack’s parents, Carol and Phil Kelsey of Welwyn garden City were full of praise for the hospice. Carol said: ‘The atmosphere is really relaxed compared to when Jack was in hospital. There is amazing support for Jack as well as for the family. And it’s good to meet other parents in the same situation.’
‘He’s not really well enough to go to school for a whole day and this new service will provide activities to occupy him.’