Following the recent charitable donation of £500 made by the Western Group of Motoring Writers to Julia’s House Children’s Hospice in Poole, and the handing over of a cheque to them as reported recently , they expressed their delight and thanks to the Group.
They also asked if I and my wife would like to attend their Open Day as a representative of the Group, since of all the Western Group members, I am geographically closest to their base in Corfe Mullen, near Poole, Dorset.
So my wife Elaine and I went along on the appointed day, to find out more about this amazing charity. We already knew a little of the good work that they do, but were astonished at the scope of their activities.
Essentially the charity exists to help children up to the age of 18 suffering from life-threatening/life-shortening conditions and, importantly, their families – for whom in most cases, there is no available break from caring, which of course can be very hard work in such situations.
We were shown the facilities within the building that is the structural heart of Julia’s House, and in its lovely grounds (above). All activities, including day visits and playing, plus weekend sleepovers, etc, are arranged so that all the children being cared for can have as good a time as possible, in a caring environment.
We were advised that during 2015, Julia’s House helped 111 families and provided 28,395 hours of care. They arranged ‘play’ days and ‘Mums and Dads’ days, explaining that these give the opportunity for parents to meet others in similar situations – and helping the support network.
The House is full of specialist gear, including such things as bathroom aids, play equipment and computers. As just one example, one computer is set up so that even children with very limited physical movement can make music. There are also many interactive facilities, plus a very special bedroom for children in the last stages of terminal illness.
Elaine and I found that the overwhelming atmosphere of the place is one of happiness and positivity, and of course the staff are dedicated to their cause.
At the moment the Corfe Mullen based Julia’s House is the only such facility providing help as described, across all of Dorset and Wiltshire, but a second, new home is being built in Wiltshire.
Providing such places and such intensive care is, of course, expensive with the Poole operation costing £5.1 million this year, and another one million pounds being spent on the new Wiltshire house.
It is a sad fact that Julia’s House receives just six per cent of the funding required, from government funding. The remaining 94 per cent comes from donations from the public – which is why our £500 is so important to the charity, and again they expressed their gratitude to the Western Group. KH
There is much more information about the charity at: https://juliashouse.org/
The Western Group of Motoring Writers fundraising took off for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and raised £500.
The donation was part of the proceeds from generous PRs who who attended last year’s annual driving day at Castle Combe.
A spokesman for the WGMW said, “We have held the annual driving day for motor industry people for over 25 years and in that time given thousands of pounds to local charities.
“We select the charities which our members nominate and reflect the needs and resources in our area, and at our AGM towards the end of 2015 we thought the DS Air Ambulance were worthy recipients for the work they do with motorists and people living in rural parts of the west-country.” JM