It is half-term again so some of the children we care for will be visiting Chestnut Tree House this week.
The hospice serves the whole of East and West Sussex and, whilst our community teams bring our care to families in their own homes, families also have the opportunity to visit the hospice and make use of the wonderful facilities there.
Many families use the opportunity of knowing their child is being cared for at Chestnut Tree House to enjoy a bit of a break, and perhaps will go abroad on holiday.
Other families go to the House together and enjoy using the facilities, such as going in the hydrotherapy pool or the Woodland Walk, both things that many of our children don’t get to experience outside of Chestnut Tree House.
There are lots of activities taking place this week including bubble wrap painting, where the children in wheelchairs make paintings by driving over the wrap with paint on and making a horrible noise, which they think is very funny!
There will also be an orchestra visiting the house providing marching music for the children – the sound and vibrations can help to stimulate the senses. Other activities for the break include planting, which can be another incredibly therapeutic thing to do. There flower and vegetable seeds at the ready and these will be a lovely present for the parents once they start to grow.
Of course, for those not visiting the house the half term provides great opportunities for going out and about during the day. Many of our children attend school, so half term means trips to the park, Drusillas or Bluereef Aquarium with their Chestnut Tree nurses. Or it might mean a chance for siblings to go out with their parents for the day whilst our nurses take over caring for a life-limited brother or sister for a morning or afternoon.
However our families are using our services, you can be sure that half term will be a busy time for everyone involved, but we love seeing so many of our children and young people during this time.
On a slightly different note, we are looking forward to the Eastbourne Sunshine carnival at the weekend. Our van is ready and our volunteers are sorting out their fancy dress as we speak – be sure to give us a wave if you see us in the procession.