Ray Winstone, Vicky Michelle and Kevin Adams celebrate Children’s Hospice Week at Haven House Children’s Hospice

CHW-2013-resized-300x212Many donations made via Pennies help support children with health problems and their families. One of the charities that has benefited from donations since Pennies first began is Together for Short Lives, the organisation for all children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.

Donations that have been made through Pennies have added up to nearly £25,000 for Together for Short Lives so far. This Pennies milestone for the charity comes in time for Children’s Hospice Week, the annual campaign taking place this week to raise awareness and money for children’s hospices in the UK.

This year’s Children’s Hospice Week focuses on raising awareness of the issues that can affect brothers and sisters of those who are ill, as well as highlighting the range of free hospice services that are there to help support families. When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, life for the whole family can quickly turn into hospital visits, medicine, long hours in waiting rooms, and 24 hour care. For siblings of the sick child, this is an unusual environment to find themselves in and the emotional toll can be significant.

The care and activities provided for families by a hospice can give family members a chance to talk about how they feel and time to have some fun together. Some of the special groups and activities available for siblings include activity days, counselling, and helping to improve communication between parents and well children.

“The sibling group has given me the chance to enjoy new activities and outings but, more importantly, I have made new friends and gained lots of confidence,” says Ami, 13. “It really is like having another family.”

Just £25 covers the cost of a music therapy session that helps give children like Ami the opportunity to express themselves. To help families have some much needed rest and family time, £500 could pay for a short break for the whole family at a children’s hospice. These are just some of the ways the pennies you donate help the hospices provide supportive services to sibling and families of seriously ill children.

A whole host of celebs are getting behind Children’s Hospice Week this year, including Joanna Lumley, Ray Winstone and Olympic gymnastics star Louis Smith. HRH, the Duchess of Cambridge has even recorded her first ever video message for the week! Keep an eye out for superhero-themed fundraising events from your local hospice this ‘Superhero Friday’ and be sure to add your pennies to the physical charity bucket as well as the virtual one!



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