Hospice Care week: residents praise vital charities
PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 October 2016
SAINT FRANCIS HOSPICE
The traditional view of hospices as places of doom and gloom is fast becoming outdated as the care they provide for patients is expanded and the atmosphere transformed.
At Haven House, in High Road, Woodford Green, 16-year-old Harry Luxton, who has the muscle weakening condition duchenne muscular dystrophy, praises the children’s hospice for improving his confidence.
Haven House looks after children and young people aged from birth to 19 years old who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.
Harry said: “I feel like I get to have a change of scenery for a weekend, and I get lots of help.
“There’s no bedtime and I relax and watch films.
“It has really helped my confidence as I get to talk to a lot of different people.
“If you’re not feeling happy, there’s always someone around. “Sometimes, people can assume that I’m a bit stupid, but here, the staff are really helpful.”
At Haven House’s autumn ball last Thursday evening, Harry travelled to central London with his mother Joanne, father Steve and older sister Ellie, to present a video that he stars in about the hospice.
He said: “It felt a bit strange!
“I wanted to tell people about my disability and get them to understand who I am as a person.”
Harry’s father Steve Luxton, 48, said families shouldn’t think twice about visiting the hospice.
He said: “It’s a briliant service, and it’s great for us knowing Harry is with caring, qualfied staff.
“I have seen how Harry has grown in confidence here.
“His younger sister Ruby also enjoys visiting, especially the playground!”
At Saint Francis Hospice, in Broxhill Road, Havering-atte-Bower, the charity offers complementary therapy, physiotherapy, counselling, arts and crafts activities for adults as well as the chance to meet new friends.
In April, the hospice which offers services for Redbridge people, helped a terminally-ill woman with cancer marry her partner.
Sharon Cashman, 51, joined Chris Cox at the altar of the hospice’s chapel, surrounded by family and friends.
Anita McCarthy, communications executive, said: “What lots of patients and families find surprising is that they can have fun at the hospice.”
This includes a drinks trolley for people on the inpatient unit, allowing them to enjoy a evening tipple of their choice.
Pam Vickers, 75, who has multiple myeloma, attends arts and craft sessions at the day unit.
She said, “Hospice care is brill. It gives you something to get dressed for and somewhere to go.
“I really enjoy meeting people.”
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