The end of another year is a natural time for all of us to reflect on our achievements and challenges, and make plans for the year to come. It is no different at Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People.
It has been a busy and varied year at Martin House – not least the weather. From the heavy snow brought to us by the ‘Beast from the East’ to the hottest summer I can remember, as always, our amazing care team rose to the challenge and continued providing vital care to children and young people with life-limiting conditions.
People often think of hospices as sad places, but Martin House is so often a place of laughter and joy; from children playing in our beautiful gardens, songs and music with our music therapists, and all kinds of activities going on each day.
We’ve taken young people on an outdoor adventure trip to Kielder, held our second LodgeFest music festival, and organised a camping trip and day out at Go Ape! in Dalby Forest for brothers and sisters.
We’ve provided 3,197 nights of care for children and young people, giving families a break, and a chance to enjoy being Mum and Dad with their children in our relaxing, home from home environment, while our community team have supported families in their own homes, right across West, North and East Yorkshire.
There have been sad times too – we have supported families through the heartache of losing their child, and our bereavement team are there for families, often for two to three years after their child has died.
This specialist, holistic care doesn’t come cheap. It costs £8 million a year to run Martin House, and most of that is raised by the public. Your fundraising takes many forms – taking part in one of the many events our fundraising team organises, corporate and community support, donating to our shops, or completing individual challenges.
We have already been busy making plans for the coming year and beyond. We are finalising a brand-new five-year strategy to ensure our services meet the needs of the families we support, and are of the highest quality, safety and effectiveness. It will also help us to increase our reach across the region, raise our profile, raise more income than ever before, and plan an important refurbishment project.
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who supports, volunteers and fundraises for us, and on behalf of Martin House, I want to say thank you for everything you have done for us in 2018.
Chief Executive, Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People