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Luen’s blog: How this year has pushed us to our limits

This Children’s Hospice Week, we’re focusing on how many of the parents we support have been pushed to the limits during the pandemic. Families like Melissa’sFor many of our families who were shielding and seeing no-one, we have been their only port of call in this unprecedented storm.

But during the last 12 months, children’s hospices and their staff have also found themselves pushed to the limits. And this hasn’t just been about the money. While it’s true to say that our fundraising activity stalled and our shops were closed for 8 months, we’ve been pushed to the limits in other ways too. 

We’ve had to re-design all of our infection control procedures and access a vast amount of PPE which, in the early days, wasn’t easy to find. We’ve had to create new ways of working, blending in-person services with virtual services, learning how to use new technologies along the way. Our teams have learnt how to work from home and we’re now trialling a blended approach back at the hospice. We had many people utilising the furlough scheme which has had an impact on our #OneTeam ethos with some of our teams working all the way through and others doing a mixture of furlough and working from home. We have supported people’s wellbeing, introducing a whole host of wellbeing support to help our staff cope with some of the challenges they’ve faced. We’ve introduced new services, including some paid-for services to help with our cashflow, we’ve supported our local NHS teams and learnt how to collect vast amounts of data to evidence the impact of our work. 

We’ve been pushed to our limits as a service and as individuals. But despite that, we’ve been living our values: we’ve cared for each other and our families, we’ve pioneered new services, we’ve been courageous in facing into the pandemic and finding ways to deal with everything it’s thrown at us, we’ve been genuine in our concerns for our staff, our families, our volunteers and our supporters but most of all, we’ve stayed positive and we’ve succeeded. 

Pushed to the limits maybe, exhausted by the impact of the last year, definitely. But, like the families we support, we have been resilient, doubled our efforts and refused to take things lying down. In our 10th year, we are putting our marker down. No matter what, we are here for local families and will be long into the future.