Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity
In February, the Trustees of The Hospital Saturday Fund very generously donated £5,000 to fund the drop-in centres run by our Family Support Workers for families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness. These drop-in centres provide a lifeline for families who have to cope with the demands of a sick child. Many of the parents we help have no other support network during this difficult time and the physical and emotional stress of hospital visits day after day can be too much to bear.
Case study – Development of a Greater Manchester Drop-in Group
With the support of The Hospital Saturday Fund, our Greater Manchester team launched its drop-in group in Bury. The aim of the group is to facilitate a safe space for parents and children supported by Rainbow Trust to meet, play and share experiences.
The drop-in groups run every second Tuesday of the month for two hours where we have access to the following three rooms:
· The sensory room – we hire this room for an hour, allowing our families time to play and explore in a safe environment. It minimises the risk of catching infection from other children using the centre.
· The party room – we use this room to meet and greet the children, as well as engage in arts and crafts activities purchased with The Hospital Saturday Fund donation. We are given the room free of charge for the full two hours of our drop in group. This room can also be used as a private area for families if they wish to discuss anything with the Family Support Workers.
· The soft play area – this area is open to the public during our drop-in sessions, however they allow us full use of this area when hiring the sensory room. The soft play area has become a great space for siblings to run around and explore. We find many of our parents share their time between the sick child in the sensory area, and their sibling in the soft play area. Our Family Support Workers are on hand to engage with and support every child, ensuring they feel cared for.
We continue to develop the drop in group in Bury, Greater Manchester. We have had great feedback so far from the families in attendance.
“This is the first time we have been out as a whole family to something like this for over a year. Without Rainbow Trust we wouldn’t have been able to do that.” Jo, Bolton
“I think we will come here until he starts school; we can’t go to normal things and we struggle to get into a routine.” Sibusiso, Crumpsall
“It is such a great, safe play area. I would never normally let him run around but I can get in and out of every play area here with him.” Debbie, Ashton
“Thank you for making this morning so good, the boys have loved it. It’s been a long time since we did something like this.” Darren, Bolton
Eric Liddell Centre
We are extremely grateful to the Hospital Saturday Fund for the £3000 we received in February 2017. These funds for our Dementia Day care help us to continue to provide a person-centred approach to our care. We look after up to 14 clients per day from 9.30am – 3pm engaging them in interactive physical and enrichment activities, encouraging them to explore and use their abilities. Our service includes a nutritious two-course lunch. Recent additions to our programme include weekly Seated Swing and Music Therapy sessions.
One of the challenges that we have faced over the past several months is the recruitment and retention of staff. The £3000 from your grant allowed us to respond to market pressures and adjust the salaries of our Assistant Day Care Manager and two Day Care Officers. We have built these increases into our budget this year and will continue to fund them through our ongoing budget process.
Retaining and recruiting a high calibre of staff is crucial to sustaining our current level of service.