For many families with children who have a life-limiting or life-threatening illness, taking a trip Disneyland Paris is something they can only dream about.
Each year for the past ten years, however, with generous support from The Rotary Club of Medway and their Children’s Hospice Family Holidays scheme, children at ellenor Hospice Care for Children and their families have enjoyed just such a four-day adventure. Together with Rotarians and ellenor medical support team, the youngsters – some of whom require round-the-clock attention – can enjoy the sort of magical world that all children want to be part of.
The latest trip, which ran from 19 – 22 May, saw 7 families with 15 children ranging in ages from 1 year to 14 years, ellenor support staff – 1 children’s senior staff nurse, 2 respite staff and 1 ellenor volunteer and 8 Rotarians enjoyed enchanting castles, gentle rides and a warm welcome from Disney favourites such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Piglet. Wonderful shows and fun-filled parades added to the mix, making for a truly special trip for all involved.
Mum of Tommy age 5 years says: “As a family, we are so grateful for the opportunity to get away, and enjoy some very much need family time away from the reality of life at home. We have made some friends for life, met amazing families and memories that will last a life time.
The support we had from the Rotarians and all of the ellenor staff was second to none and nothing was too much trouble for them to help us with. Going away with extra pairs of hands and knowing you have the support if needed is not something we as a family often get to have. We loved every second of the trip and will always be grateful that we were able to come and make some memories that we will cherish forever. Thank you all again from the bottom of our hearts”.
David Hatcher from the Rotary Club of Medway says: “For all the Rotarians who take part in organising and funding the trip, the opportunity to support such wonderful families is truly a humbling and honourable experience that demonstrates the Rotary motto of being able to deliver ‘Service above self’ at its absolute best”.
Children’s Hospice Care Assistant Practitioner at ellenor, Hannah Ives, said: “These families represent some of the many that we support in imaginative ways throughout the year. For some parents, this might be the first break they’ve had in a long time from being full-time carers. ellenor’s medical support team allows them to relax and enjoy the sort of holiday most families are able to take for granted.
It’s amazing to be part of the Rotary Children’s Hospice Family Holidays scheme. We’re truly grateful for the support of the Rotary Club of Medway and the greatest gift that they give to these families: the chance to spend precious moments together, just as every family should be able to do.”
If you are interested in exploring opportunities for collaboration with ellenor please contact our Children’s Hospice Home Team on 01474 320007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.