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Wednesday 2 November 2011

New Hospice Opens

Hi everyone.  Here I am again, scribbling a few notes from here in deepest Devon.  As I look out the window, the trees are really starting to change colour in the garden, and they will soon be falling onto the lawn.  I did a post around this time last year about leaves, and I will put it up again fairly soon for my newer Followers.

The house is very quiet again at the moment, because Emma, Eleanor & Alfred set off at 8 a.m. this morning for the long drive back to France.  It's always sad saying goodbye, but they will be here again on the 16th December until just after the new year.  My son-in-law will be arriving on the 22nd December, so they will be here again before I know it.  As they live so far away, I am really very fortunate in just how often we do get to seem them.

Many of my older Followers will know that I set up a Friends' Group here in Ivybridge where I live, on behalf of Children's Hospice South West as they had set out to raise five million pounds to build a new (and third) Childrens' Hospice in the South West of England.  There are only 6 of us and, in the three years since we set up, we have organized lots of fund-raising events and sent off £13,000 towards the fund.  We had a meeting here earlier this morning to plan a list of events for next year, which will include a very popular quiz evening, a fashion show linked up with our local Boutique, coffee mornings, afternoon cream teas and a musical evening in September.

The good news is that the new Hospice has now been completed, ahead of schedule, and the first families will be able to use it as from early December.  It is fantastic how much the local community came together, businesses, radio stations and so on, to raise that five million pounds in just three years.  When you look at the poor little children who have to attend the Hospice, it just makes you so sad, and it certainly makes you realize how very blessed you are to have healthy children and grandchildren.

The New Hospice (Little Harbour). It looks a bit bare at the moment, but it will look lovely once all the plants grow up in a couple of years.

I have been privileged to visit the other hospices on several occasions, and it really is wonderful the work that they do there.  They are for life-limited children, i.e.  children who are not expected to reach adulthood, and they really do care for the whole family, including the parents, siblings and grandparents.  One of the things I was impressed with was how each child that visits  the Hospice for any length of time, really does think that they have their very own bedroom there.  They have their own books, pictures, soft toys, duvet covers etc.  When they leave, and the next child arrives, it is all carefully packed away,  and the next lot of things are put around for the incoming child.  A detailed photo is taken each time, so that everything is just as they left it when the children return to that room.  I think it is tiny details like that, that are so important.

"While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about."
~Angela Schwindt


Raindrops and Daisies said...

Well done to you on your wonderful fundraising.

I know how difficult it is to get money these days but a children's hospice is such a fantastic cause.

I am sure your family and the families of the children involved are so thankful to have you looking after them and must be very proud of you.

That is fabulous work.

x Fiona

Shady Del Knight said...

This is very sad but at the same time uplifting, Thisisme. Thanks to your efforts and the efforts of goodhearted citizens like you the most desperately ill children can find comfort and care and their families some peace of mind. I applaud you! I know it must make you sad to have an empty nest now that your visitors have gone back home. Time marches on and they'll be there again before you know it. Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday, dear friend!

Sush said...

Ah Diane, how wonderful of you and your friends to do fundraising for such a needed and worthwhile place. The grandson of one of my dearest friends needed to have open heart surgery at the ripe old age of two and they stayed in a Ronald McDonald house while they were going through the two month process. The world needs these places and more people like you willing to do the work to make them possible.

I"m in awe...


Denise said...

Nice to hear from you.Your work with the children is more than touching.So many of us are blessed to have healthy families.Oh it does break my heart to hear of the children and their families that have to go through life grieving at such a young age.Blessings to you for your helping heart. Denise

Shelly said...

It's a truly noble thing to give yourself to such a worthy cause, and I commend you and your friends for getting this done. Congratulations!

Belle said...

What a blessing these hospices are! How wonderful for the children and their families. The building is quite lovely even now. I think it is amazing they keep the same toys and put them back exactly the same when the children visit. Your fundraisers sound like so much fun, no wonder people come and donate!

My granddaughter makes peanut butter cookies without flour and they are delicious. She told me she got the recipe online. I will find it and send it to you. God Bless.

Marsha Young said...

My mother used to volunteer for hospice, and you are right, they are a wonderful organization.

Loved your blog. Nice to meet you.
Blessings to you ...Marsha

Southhamsdarling said...

Raindrops and Daisies - hi Fiona. It's not just us, but all our wonderful supporters who keep coming to our events. They are the important ones!

Shady - Hi dear friend Tom. Yes, an empty nest indeed is what we have here at the moment! But, as you say, times marches swiftly on, so I am not downhearted! It is funny without little Alfred snuffling about though!!

Sush - it must have been such a worrying time for your friend when her grandson was so poorly. It doesn't bear thinking about, does it? Thank you for your sweet comments, but as I said above, it is our supporters who are the stars really. They come out time after time to support us.

Denise - lovely to see you here today. Yes, it does break your heart, doesn't it, to see what some poor children and their families have to go through. We are blessed with our healthy ones.

Shelly - thank you for your kind comments. It is always lovely to see you here.

Belle - these Hospices really are amazing my friend. The children are cared for so very well, which is only what they deserve. I will e mail you this evening.

Southhamsdarling said...

Marsha @ Spotsand Wrinkles - how lovely to see you here today. Thank you so much for popping over to leave a comment. They are, indeed, wonderful Organizations. Blessings to you too.

Unknown said...

I'm glad that your family will be back so soon! I am so happy that you get to spend so much time with them!

Congratulations on being such a great part of the cause! :) You are a fabulous woman!

Olive said...

Well done Tim and for such a good cause. It is also so thoughtfully managed. I worked with very sick kids in 1986 and sent some home to die. I only did that job for one year as my heart could not take it.

Chatty Crone said...

I think you did a great thing there - I am so PROUD of you - hospice is a GREAT thing!


Glenda said...

Thisisme, what a wonderful program you've had the opportunity to raise funds for! I have just finished writing a post about the unfairness of children with cancer. Will be posting it later. Such a nice thing you are doing.

Southhamsdarling said...

Kristina - Yes, good that I shall be seeing the family again .Thought your latest post was a really good one!

Olive - hi my friend. Good to see you here again. I can imagine how hard that must have been for you to work with those really sick children. I don't think I could do it. Hope all is well with you.

Chatty - thank you SO much for that kind comment. Hugs.

Glenda - I shall certainly look forward to reading your post about the unfairness of children having cancer. You could just weep for them really, couldn't you?

Southhamsdarling said...

Marsha - hallo again! I have just noticed that you have become my newest Follower, so thank you very much for that! Welcome.

Grammy Goodwill said...

Good for you for helping with such a worthwhile project. Is there anything sadder than an ill child? My son spent several weeks in the hospital when he was a toddler, and it was a very dreary place. I'm glad things have improved since then.

Bethe77 said...

So wonderful that you ahve helped raised so much money for thsoe in such great need. You truly are a blessing your family and community!
Sounds like you will have a full and busy holiday season ahead of you and a houseful of fmaily and love in Dec. It is sad when they go but you know they will be back soon. I am hoping maybe this coming Feb. to be able to head back out to see my chidlren and grandchildren in mid Feb.
Many blessings

orchid0324 said...

Hello Dear Diane,
(haha, would yyou let me call Diane now. Making me Feel closer to you♡♡♡)
Wow, what a wonderful fundraising project you have!!! And look at the serene atmosphere for children to be. I wish your project keep going successfully.
Wishing Good luck for you, Love xoxo Orchid*

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

It's so nice when family make the effort to travel long distances to visit!

Lovely end quote too

Duncan In Kuantan

BB said...

This...your involvement with this is monumental. We should have more places like this here in the US. I am especially moved by this post because of my Kali's bout with cancer. Thankfully she's fine but there are those who are not as fortunate. Wonderful post my awesome friend!

Southhamsdarling said...

Grammy Goodwill - yes, as you say, thank goodness that these buildings have improved so much. I can remember being in this big old Victorian hospital when I was a child, and it was such a horrible, dreary place! It must have been a worrying time for you when you son was in hospital as a child.

Bethe - thank you my friend. Yes, it will, indeed, be a busy holiday season but lovely to have all the family together. I am really sorry that you won't get to see your children and grandchildren until February :(

Orchid - yes, of course you can call me Diane!! I shall call you Miyako when I leave a comment on your blog. I did start off by being anonymous, but most people know who I am now!! Hope you are keeping well my friend.

Duncan - hi there! Yes, it is lovely when family do make the effort to travel long distances. I think it's something that we should all make an effort to do if at all possible, because time goes by so very quickly. I hope your lovely little family are all keeping well.

Bouncin'Barb - hi there my awesome friend!! I can imagine how this post would have resonated with you in view of what happened with your beautiful little Kali . Thank heaven that she got over it, and is now fine. I can't imagine what you must have gone through, but, as you said in your post in The Powder Room, you just had to be strong for everyone else! Hugs.

Unknown said...

That is so inspiring Diane! How a small group can come together and give so much. What a heartwarming story.

Rebecca said...

that;s wonderful

Southhamsdarling said...

kneesandpaws - thank you Jenny. It really is down to the lovely people who keep buying tickets for all the events that we organize!

Becca - thank you my friend. You're obviously catching up on your blog reading!!

Donna B. said...

Popping in to say hello....hugs to you dear one...

Southhamsdarling said...

Donna B - lovely to see you here today dear friend. Thank you for much for popping over to say hallo! Hope all is well with you.