I remember our first visit was filled with trepidation. We expected to find the hospice very clinical and hospital like, we couldn’t have been more wrong. We were greeted at the door and made to feel welcome by the staff. We were shown around and it was nothing like we’d imagined. It was very homely and calm, an oasis.
It was nice to be able to go and have someone to talk to who understood what you were going through. We made lots of friends and it was like being in a special club because you were all there for the same reason.
You didn’t stand out because you were different like if you were on holiday somewhere. We were all in the same boat.
Lauren’s brother Alex has made some good friends. It’s great for him because he has something in common with the other siblings and I’m sure it makes him feel like he’s not the only person in this situation. You will usually find him on the PlayStation, watching a movie or playing football!
The staff were very supportive and at first I was quite reluctant to hand over Lauren’s care to someone else. But we weren’t pressured and did as much or as little as we felt comfortable with. Lauren soon settled in and loved going for her little holidays knowing she was going to have someone’s undivided attention for the weekend.
Her favourite thing is to go in the hydrotherapy pool with her brother, with the music blasting out, like any typical teenager! She also loves to visit the fundraising team for a chat and taking them all a cupcake she’s made during her stay. It gives her the chance to be independent and to do things that she wants to do, rather than what we think she wants to do.
If we ever have any worries or just need a bit of reassurance, we know there is always someone on the end of the phone to speak to.
Lauren has even done some of her own fundraising for Little Harbour through her school.