Northern Ireland Children's Hospice
At Northern Ireland Children's Hospice we provided a grant to cover the cost of a complimentary therapist service, not only for children who are cared for in the hospice but also for their families and carers. Complementary therapy is widely used and recognised in children's hospices as a vital tool in managing pain and other symptoms, combating stress and generally improving psychological well-being, thus enhancing the quality of life of the children and young people cared for in hospices. The service also provides parents and carers with the opportunity to take some time out and relax with a treatment. This will help to reduce their stress and anxiety levels and allow them time to recharge their batteries.
Complementary therapy played an important part in the life of a young child named Jack, who was approaching the end of his life. Routine treatments and drug therapies have the potential to bring in new challenges due to possible side effects. At the end of life when comfort is the priority for care, it is not always appropriate to add further drugs that might cause side effects and therefore additional symptoms to manage. The hospice were able to use complementary therapies with Jack to give him relief from abdominal pain and other symptoms and help make him comfortable, which was a great relief to his family. The complementary therapist also taught very basic techniques to the parents so that they were able to use them themselves when Jack showed signs of discomfort, empowering them to feel in control of an otherwise difficult situation.
Ina Henry, the Trusts and Foundations Manager at NICH said "This service enhances the quality of care at NICH and helps make life easier for the very special children and young people we care for. When time is short, quality of life is very important. This would not have been possible without the grant from Wallace and Gromit's Children's Charity."