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Luen’s blog: Taking a break

I have been lucky enough recently to be able to take a break. As an employee, I get paid leave and as CEO I actively encourage the whole team to take regular breaks to support their welfare and avoid the potential for burnout.

I think I have really benefitted from time away – to relax, spend time with my family and just have the opportunity to do something different and not be chained to any kind of routine. But it has made me think about the families support, families with a child with very complex needs and life-limiting conditions who have not had a chance to take a break over the last 2 years.

During the pandemic we kept in touch with all of our families and helped them to get some respite when they could. The design of our hospice enabled us to do this, but still some families were very reticent, meaning they were effectively housebound. This has clearly taken its toll, with endless sleepless nights, no breaks in routines around medication, needing to be on call 24/7, taking care of mobility, toileting and feeding. Some of our parents have not even been able to take a walk together, have a coffee in a coffee shop, visit friends or have a meal out – those simple things we take for granted and which stop us from feeling isolated and alone.

As the pandemic subsides, we want to be able to offer respite breaks to many more families to help them recharge their batteries, remember what normal life can be like, rebuild connections and spend some time having some fun. 

Of course, ‘getting away from it all’ is difficult for our families, both financially and practically. But that’s where our hospice comes in. Families can stay here together or we can look after their child so they get some precious time to themselves. Either way, there are tons of activities here including a cinema room, a hydrotherapy pool, a sensory room and a lovely garden with play area to enjoy.

But to be able to offer this, we need your help. Could you help us fund a respite break for a family desperately in need of one? 

I hope that you’re also able to take a break – we all need one after the last two years, don’t we? Thank you for helping us ensure our families can too. 

You can make a donation here.