Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People provides family-led care across West, North and East Yorkshire. Since 2005 the Foundation has awarded Martin House over £23,000 to support its palliative care and support services.
Every year Martin House supports over 420 children and young people, and their families plus 150 bereaved families, at its hospice in Boston Spa, in hospitals and in their own homes. Martin House’s services include respite stays, symptom control, emergency care, community care and end of life care. Martin House also offer bereavement support to families, often for two to three years after their child’s death. There is no cost to any of the families using the services. It costs in excess of £6 million a year to provide this care, the majority of which comes from voluntary donations and fundraising.
Kacie-Mai Jones was diagnosed with collagen related muscular dystrophy, a life-limiting condition that leaves her reliant on round the clock care, when she was just two. Now seven, Kacie-Mai and her grandparents Craig and Dawn Russell are regular visitors to Martin House.
Their visits offer the opportunity Kacie-Mai needs to be herself in an environment tailored to her needs. Kacie-Mai is ABLE to meet other children with similar conditions, make the most of the space to play, and enjoy activities with full medical and practical support close at hand.
Craig said: “Support from school has been fantastic and the children and staff have really made an effort to understand Kacie-Mai’s condition. But the only time we really see her interact with her peers is when she’s staying at the hospice.
“She loves teasing the care staff and getting them to do things for her. She’s also really creative so spends a lot of time in the art room painting, cutting, modelling and making little things to bring home. She loves the gardens and play area. When we took her up there for the first time she was straight on the roundabout and she absolutely loves the wheelchair swing.”
For Craig and Dawn, Martin House is a lifeline that not only gives them time and space to recharge their batteries, but allows them to feel part of a warm and caring community of likeminded staff and families:
“The hospice is like a different world. For us, we can talk openly to other parents knowing that they understand. Every single person you speak to understands what you’re going through. The whole atmosphere of the hospice is so welcoming and sitting around the table with the other families is such an important part of the experience. Everyone I’ve spoken to about Martin House has only positive things to say and we’re so grateful for all they do for us.”