CHARITY OF THE WEEK: We take a look at the vital work carried out by Wetherby's Martin House Children’s Hospice

Charities across the Harrogate district have had a tough couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we want to highlight those who need your help and support in 2022.

By Lucy Chappell
Friday, 27th May 2022, 12:43 pm
Updated Friday, 27th May 2022, 12:45 pm

Martin House Children’s Hospice, based in Wetherby, provides care and support for babies, children and young people with complex life-shortening conditions.

Every year they support over 425 children, young people and their families, plus more than 150 bereaved families across North, West and East Yorkshire at their hospice, in hospitals and in families’ own homes.

Martin House provide a range of services to meet the needs of children and young people, which includes planned stays, emergency and symptom control stays when their child isn’t well or symptoms change and medication needs modifying, end of life care, care after death in their cooled bedrooms and bereavement support for parents, siblings and grandparents.

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Martin House Children’s Hospice provides care for babies, children and young people with life-limiting illnesses

Clair Holdsworth, Chief Executive at Martin House Children’s Hospice, said: “The perception of children’s hospices are that they are sad places, and obviously while it is often emotive, Martin House can be a very happy place.

“When families come to stay, they can enjoy home-cooked meals and there are lots of activities for children to do, such as sessions with our music therapists, play, arts and crafts, and we also organise trips out and about.

“It’s very much a home-from-home feeling, but with expert medical and nursing support available 24/7.”

Like many charities and organisations across the Harrogate district, the Covid-19 pandemic affected the way the hospice worked and they had to adapt their services to ensure that they could still look after those who needed vital care and support.

Martin House Children’s Hospice provides care for babies, children and young people with life-limiting illnesses

Clair added: “The pandemic presented us with huge challenges, both in terms of ensuring that we could still provide the care families needed and also in how we could fundraise, but throughout, we’ve been agile and flexible to make sure that we could meet those challenges head on.

“It was vital to us that Martin House remained open throughout, and I’m really proud that we achieved that, but obviously we had to introduce lots of measures to ensure the safety of our staff and families visiting us.

“We still have PPE and testing requirements, but we’ve worked really hard to make sure we provide the kind of experience families expect when they come to the hospice.”

Martin House Children’s Hospice provides care for babies, children and young people with life-limiting illnesses

Volunteers are an essential part of the work that is carried out by Martin House and by donating even just a couple of hours a week, you allow them to be able to provide the care and support children and young people with life-limiting conditions need.

Clair said: “We have lots of volunteering opportunities available – we have shops across our region, including in Harrogate, Knaresborough Thorp Arch and Ripon, as well as volunteer roles at the hospice and in supporting fundraising events.

“There are so many ways that you can get involved, and it’s such a rewarding experience, both personally and knowing that you are helping children and young people with life-limiting conditions to receive our specialist care.”

If you would like to become a volunteer, the team at Martin House would love to hear from you and you can get in contact for more information by emailing [email protected] or calling 07827447827.

Martin House have found it tough to fundraise over the last couple of years, with events having to be cancelled and shops being closed due to the Covid pandemic.

However the team found alternative ways to keep the money coming in, and they are extremely pleased that 2022 has seen a relaunch of a full calendar of fundraising activities again.

Clair added: “People can support us by taking part in one of our fundraising events that take place throughout the year, they can organise their own event, play our lottery or make a donation online and we have lots of help available for anyone who would like to fundraise for Martin House.”

If you would like to fundraise for Martin House, get in contact by emailing [email protected]

For more information about Martin House Children's Hospice, visit https://www.martinhouse.org.uk/

Are you working with or getting any support from a charity in the region that deserves some support and credit after the difficult Covid lockdowns? We would love to hear from you!