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Luen’s blog: 2019 – a year of learning

Forget Me Not is a pioneering charity. Set up by a ground-breaking mum to provide the services that weren’t available to her son, a pioneering spirit is built into our very foundations.

That’s because the status quo is not enough for our families. The status quo is when a mum has to catch two buses with her wheelchair-bound son to access the care he needs. The status quo is when a dad, whose child has died suddenly and unexpectedly, leaves hospital with just a leaflet for support. The status quo is when there’s no time to be anything other than a carer for your very poorly child. When all you really want to do is spend precious time with them, making the memories that will last you a lifetime.

Families deserve better. That’s why we’re always looking for better ways to do things, changing what doesn’t work, advocating for people when they are at their most vulnerable and finding new and innovative ways to raise the funds we need.

That’s why we’re always learning.

Over the last year, we’ve done a lot of that. We’ve learnt about our limitations and made difficult decisions around our services based on the funding issues we’ve faced and continue to face.

We’ve learnt how to tell the story of the hospice and the work it does today, making it relevant for people and creating new connections; the launch of our Shooting Star Appeal is just one great example of this.

We’ve learnt more about what we’re really good at and are starting to develop ways to share our expertise across the children’s palliative care sector.

We’ve learnt how to build on the very valuable connections we already have and encourage more people, staff, volunteers and supporters to become part of our story.

We’ve learnt about the culture we have, the culture we want and what we need to do to get there. And we’ve learnt much more about listening to families, shaping services around what they need and giving them more ways to tell us what they think.

We’ve learnt how to better evaluate what we do and ensure we are making best use of our funds as we invest in raising more.

In 2020, we will be to putting this learning to very good use. We’ll be embedding our ideas into our everyday work and continuing to improve as we deliver on our trailblazing strategy. We’ll be raising more and spending those funds right where they’re needed. And we’ll be providing quality services to those who need them most in a safe, caring, responsive, effective and well-led manner.

We will, of course, continue to count on and build upon the support we have. The support that enables us to be here when families need us, whatever they need and wherever they need us.

So thank you to everyone involved with Forget Me Not over the last year and the last decade. Thank you for helping us take one mum’s original idea and nurture it into vital support for so many. Thank you for helping us pioneer to provide better services for the families who desperately need them. It means the world to know we can count on you.

Happy New Year!