Anglesey Group Mothers' Union
Nicky Jackson from EACH (East Anglian Children's Hospice) at Milton was our speaker at the July meeting. She explained how the Hospice, which was opened in 1989 by Diana, Princess of Wales and celebrates it's 21st birthday this year, provides care and support to families living in Cambridgeshire who have children with life-threatening conditions or complex health care needs which require palliative care. It is a charity organisation which relies on public support for the majority of its income, and has a team of 30 paediatric and palliative care trained nurses. Care is provided in a number of ways -respite (where the patient is cared for by the hospice and family stay in family accommodation close to the hospice giving parents and family an essential break from the 24 hour caring role), play therapy which involves using sensory play allowing different ways to access play and books, music therapy enabling patient and family to share quality time together. Other facilities include a hydo-therapy pool. If the patient is too ill to come to the hospice EACH will provide care at the patient's home. The family support unit provides essential support for parents and children, giving much support to siblings of the patient. There are 'chums'groups where siblings are given the opportunity to come together and discuss the difficulties of having a brother or sister who is sick and give support to each other. Support is also provided for Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and the special friend of late teen patients.
The ultimate service provided by EACH is end of life in the home or hospice with as much time as possible given to 'memory making'activities, so parents and family have many quality memories of their loved at the time of and after end of life. Families continue to receive support from the hospice for 3 years after the death of a child, and a memory day is held each year where families can come together and light candles and release balloons.
Nicky concluded her talk with a short film entitled 'Katie'telling the story of how EACH provided care and support for a little 5 year old girl and her family. This was very poignant, showing clearly how traumatic circumstances were made so much more endurable for the whole family by their receiving the invaluable services and support of EACH.
In August 23 Mothers'Union members enjoyed a Summer Cream Tea. This event was held instead of the originally programmed outing. The afternoon started with prayer led by Reverend David Lewis who joined us for a delicious tea of sandwiches and clotted cream scones. To accompany tea there was a short general knowledge fun quiz. It was agreed that surplus profits from the tea should be donated to the East Anglian Children's Hospice Charity.
Our meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month and you are most welcome to come along and join us in Lode Chapel at 2.30pm. In October Angie Stewart will be speaking to us about the work of Cambridge Women's Aid and we will be holding our "Autumn" Bring & Buy Stall.