Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) was invited to join a video call made by The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duchess of Cambridge to mark this year’s Children’s Hospice Week.
As Patron of Children’s Hospice South West and Helen and Douglas House, The Duchess of Cornwall invited Eddie Farwell, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of CHSW and Clare Periton, Chief Executive of Helen and Douglas House to join the call along with the Delf family who have received support from East Anglia Children’s Hospice (EACH) of which the Duchess of Cambridge is Patron.
During the call Their Royal Highnesses discussed the comprehensive care that hospice staff provide, and the way that children’s hospices are able to create positive environments and happy memories during the most difficult of times. Their Royal Highnesses thanked all those involved in and supporting children’s hospices across the UK during this critical time.
After having experienced first-hand the incredible support given by a children’s hospice Eddie Farwell founded CHSW along with his Late wife Jill in 1991. CHSW now offers care at three children’s hospice across the south west; Little Bridge House in Barnstaple, Charlton Farm near Bristol and Little Harbour in St Austell.
On the call Eddie Farwell explained the care Helen House provided for two of his children who had life limiting illnesses, as well as the support given to his well daughter Lizzy, wife Jill and himself. He described the hospice as providing “enormously valuable and loving care” and being “a place of wonderment.”
Speaking about the current landscape Eddie explained the changes CHSW have had to make to continue offering support to families in ways most suitable to them.
We’ve had to be very agile to respond to the changing needs of families. Most of our families are shielding very vulnerable young people. We’re working in the community, which is something we haven’t done before, it has been very welcome and enormously successful, and it won’t surprise you to know we have been working virtually as well.
Clare Periton explained similar challenges experienced by the team at Helen and Douglas House. The Delf family, discussed how they have faced lockdown as a recently bereaved family and shared their recent experience of EACH.
The Duchess of Cornwall, commending the work of children’s hospices at this difficult time said:
We’d like to thank everybody that works for hospices across the UK for the incredible job you do and allowing families to treasure their moments together.
Speaking about the nurses and carers that look after children in hospices, The Duchess described them as “the most wonderful people” that “inspire happiness”.
The Duchess of Cambridge called the work of children’s hospices “extraordinary”, adding: “It’s a credit to the staff that they can provide the environment, the nurturing space for those families to help them go through long or short term care. It’s really awe-inspiring”.