“When we turn into the driveway I breath a sigh of relief. It feels like coming home, a haven, a place where we can leave our nursing and your carer responsibilities behind. A place where we can just be a family again.”
Those are the words of a mum who is supported by The Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.
The hospice cares for children with life limiting or life threatening conditions. Chief Executive Peter Branson said: “The sad thing is the one thing they all have in common is that the condition and disease they have means they will die young,” he said. “But our job is to help them and make it their best time it can possibly be.
“The children’s hospice is much more than just about a child. We spend a lot of time working with mums and dads. They will all tell you when you have a child with a life limiting condition you have little time to be a parent and turn into a carer. We try to give them back that time with the respite we provide and help them spend some time being a parent again and just enjoy here rather than being a carer.”
Mr Branson was speaking at the first 99ers scheme meeting held at Prego’s in Brighouse. It was attended by various businesses in Brighouse from HSBC to Hipperholme Grammar School and Rokt. There is 44 members who donate 99p a day, this money from the members provides enough money to pay for two days of care. Ten others signed up on the night.
The hospice in Brackenhall needs £2.5 million a year to function and it is hoped that the 99ers scheme can develop enough to provide funding for five days of care. The scheme also brings businesses together and already there are examples where they have joined forces to combat an issue.
Peter Sleigh of Sleigh & Story in Brighouse is one of the members. “To anyone who is not a member of the scheme I ask them to consider joining. It is a wonderful facility that any of us may end up calling for one day. Is 99p too much to ask when it needs £2.5 million.”
Waterfront Lodge Hotel and Prego Italian Cafe Bar and Restaurant is one of the scheme members but they have also raised £847.11. The staff sold 95 Jasper Bears and raised £700. This was topped up with donations raised from raffles and donation boxes.
“More Jasper Bears are ready and waiting for a lovely family,” said director Lidia Shinwell. Each bear is £8 and available from the hotel’s reception.
Students at Hipperholme Grammar School have also raised £468.05 by taking part on the hospice’s Chube Challenge which encouraged all pupils to fill Smartie tubes with coins.
Marketing and admissions officer Sue Oliver said: “I am delighted with the contribution this fund raising event has made to support the work of this invaluable hospice.
“We are committed to supporting their work as much as possible not only through fund raising days, but also by signing up to be a Forget Me Not 99er, one of a variety of local organisations which have pledged to make monthly donations.
“I would certainly encourage other local businesses to join us in making a regular financial contribution and raising awareness of this fantastic scheme.”
Pupils at Carr Green Primary School, Rastrick, will also be supporting the hospice by producing artwork that will be displayed in the hospice’s shop in Commercial Street.
One lucky pupil will win a personalised Easter egg for the best design which will take pride of place and be framed amongst the colourful eggs.
Store manager Lisa Brown said: “Community support plays a vital role in the running of not only our stores but the charity as a whole, and being able to work closely with a school such as Carr Green is fantastic.”
To find out more about the 99er scheme or to raise money contact Jason Costello on 01484 411040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org