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There is no limit to what Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice will do for local families

This week is a special week for Children’s Hospices across the UK. Children’s Hospice Week is the only week in the year dedicated to raising awareness and funds for children’s hospices and palliative care services across the UK, and the seriously ill children and young people they support.

From Monday 21 to Sunday 27 June, Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice will be joining 53 other children’s hospices across the UK and highlighting the vital and specialist care they provide to Cumbrian families.

Jigsaw’s expert nursing staff provide respite care and give mums and dads the chance to be parents, not carers. The charity’s nursing team support siblings to connect and make memories that last a lifetime. And when it’s time to say goodbye, the make sure a family have privacy and dignity so they can grieve together.

During Children’s Hospice the local charity will be sharing memories from their families’ and staff after a year like no other.

Helen’s son, Jack, 11, has a metabolic disorder called NKH, he uses a wheelchair, has seizures and is tube fed. Helen explained, “There isn’t anywhere Jack can go as he needs 24 hour care. His needs are very complex so we have peace of mind that whilst he is at Jigsaw he has nursing care and it is a very calm and organised setting for him.

“Jack goes to Jigsaw so he can enjoy some time in the Sensory Room, go for a walk and he enjoys crafts and baking, whilst we know he is being look after in a calm and caring environment.

“Jack continues to shield due to the risks of Covid-19 and as a family we have had to restrict where we can go and who can visit us. We are hopeful the vaccine will soon be made available to clinically extremally vulnerable children and Jack can get back to school and the activities he enjoys. Nationally the restrictions are lifting, but for families like ours there is real worry about the risks to our children with complex health needs.”

Jigsaw is the children’s hospice for Cumbria. From Workington to Appleby, Barrow-in-Furness to Carlisle, Jigsaw provides unique care and support to children and young adults with life limiting illnesses.

The children hospice’s dedicated team of trained, highly skilled nurses and health care assistants provide the individualised, complex nursing and therapeutic support each child and young adults needs – giving them the chance to have the childhood experiences we would all want for our own children. Jigsaw’s care is offered for free and without obligation.

Heather, whose son Robbie, 24, attends Jigsaw added, “Jigsaw has supported us in difficult times and circumstances. Our son loves the interaction with other young people in similar situations to himself. The break from other family at home is a refreshing change for him and for us as his parents time to recharge our batteries from 24/7 care is very much needed, so we can face the constant battles and challenges that arise daily.

“Over the last 12 months we have been very isolated and lonely. It has been extremely difficult and exhausting, which has left us emotionally drained at times. Although things are now easier for others, the exhaustion is still with us as we are not anywhere near back to any form of normality and won’t be for some time.”

2021 is a special and significant year for Jigsaw as it marks three decades of caring for local people with life limiting illnesses. For over 30 years the support of the local community has helped to build the hospice, purchase specialist equipment and provide vital care to local people with life limiting illnesses. Every donation helps the local community.

Kate Allison, Jigsaw Team Lead, explained, “Jigsaw is an incredibly special place, people often have preconceived ideas that a children’s hospice would be really sad all the time, but it is honestly the loveliest unit mainly filled with smiles, laughter and making precious memories. I feel very honoured to be a part of a team that plays a part in supporting the wonderful children, young people and the families that we do.”

To find out more about the care, support and activities provided by Jigsaw during Children’s Hospice Week please click here.