This time last year, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity were nominated by a second online company to benefit from donations made by customers at the checkout. Together with Barracudas customers, people shopping online with Party Pieces have been donating their pennies to help the charity support families of children with serious illnesses.
Thanks to these donations, Rainbow Trust are able to ensure more families have access to a Family Support Worker. This type of help was an important lifeline for the Morris family, whose 11-year-old son Ben needs round the clock care.
“My son Ben is a bright eleven year old with a big smile and lots to say,” says Ben’s mum, Sandra. “He loves science lessons at school, talking about his best friend and cracking jokes. He has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which means that his muscles don’t receive signals from his brain. The only part of his body he can move is his left thumb.”
Despite Ben’s disabilities, he races around in his wheelchair – which he controls with his thumb and attends the same mainstream school as his sister Emily, eight.
Ben’s parents, Doug and Sandra, have their work cut out looking after him. Ben’s condition means he needs lots of attention and stimulation. He can’t swallow most foods, so he has to be tube fed and at bedtime he needs to be carried up the stairs, given oxygen and then turned several times during the night. In addition to regular hospital check-ups, up to two or three times a year Ben develops a lung infection which means extended stays in the hospital. The support of Family Support Worker, Jayne, who comes to see the family once or twice each week, means a great deal.
“Jayne is fantastic. She will take Emily off to the park or play with Ben, so that I can have a bit of time to shop or clean. She helps out when Ben is in hospital and best of all, she takes me off for a coffee and a chat. I can talk to Jayne about anything; the support she offers is emotional as well as practical. We’d be lost without her.” Sandra Morris, Ben’s mum.
£126 pays for a day’s visit from a Family Support Worker like Jayne to help maintain a sense of normality for families like the Morris’. Coping with the practical demands of caring for a very sick child and the emotional strain of facing a future without then can tear families apart. A day’s visit from a Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker allows parents to attend to practical chores away from the home, spend quality time with healthy siblings, relax or simply sleep safe in the knowledge that their child is being looked after by someone they can trust, who knows them and their individual needs.
So far, Rainbow Trust have raised £2,509.49, which could over nearly 20 days of these visits from a Support Worker to help parents like Doug and Sandra. Isn’t it incredible what a few pennies can do?