Running a children’s hospice is such a varied role.
One moment I am reviewing an old policy or procedure, the next I am writing a letter of thanks to someone who has donated to the charity.
People’s generosity is astounding, but with less government funding every year, those donations are even more important.
Other days, I could be playing cars with a lovely little boy who has the most adorable smiling face, or I may be chatting to a parent who decides to share with me all that is happening in her family’s life, such as the behavioural difficulties of her son who is affected by having a sick sibling, the fact that her husband is depressed and finding life difficult, the many medical appointments her daughter has, and clearly, she has no time for herself at all.
The box of tissues is never far away at Chestnut Tree House, but despite the sadness, it remains one of the happiest places you could be.
Everyone who spends time at the House says the same – it’s not a cold, clinical place as the word hospice might conjure up.
It is a bright, warm, homely, friendly place where we all strive to make special memories for the children and families we care for.
I hope through this column, I can change your perceptions of a children’s hospice.
Chestnut Tree House, in Dover Lane, Arundel, cares for over 280 children and young adults from 0-25 years of age with progressive life-limiting conditions.
For more information on Chestnut Tree House visit the website www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk