A UNITED effort by businesses across Merseyside could play a key role in helping one of the region’s busiest children’s hospices meet the growing demand for its services.
Wirral’s Claire House Children’s Hospice is currently in urgent need of funds to maintain its increasing workload which has surged dramatically in recent years.
Six years ago, the hospice set out to achieve its dream of supporting every local child with a serious or terminal illness as well as helping their families through difficult and heart-breaking times. However, the result of this ambition has seen an 84 per cent rise in the number of children and families using hospice services.
Leading the call for local businesses to pull together with a major fundraising boost for Claire House is Sandra Kirkham, Managing Director of Progress to Excellence Group and Chairman of Wirral Chamber of Commerce.
The One Chance Claire House Charity Ball, being held in the walled garden marquee at Thornton Manor on Friday, October 4, is a chance for the business community to unite with a common aim – to make sure Claire House continues with its mission to reach every dying child.
Sandra said: “The work by Claire House to support children with serious conditions and their families is legendary. However, matters have now reached a stage whereby the need for the vital services it provides has almost doubled.
“Our business community has always been generous with its support for good causes and the One Chance Ball – so called because when a child is dying, their family only gets one chance to get their care right – is an opportunity for them to come together and help make a difference to Claire House and the families it supports.”
Among the highlights of the evening will be an exclusive performance by singing star Rebecca Ferguson. Hosting the event will be TV chef Simon Rimmer and there will also be a guest appearance by Radio City’s Leanne Campbell.
Jessica Campbell, Partnerships Manager at Claire House, explained that the hospice, recognising there were many more children it needed to reach, set out six years ago to achieve an organisational dream of reaching every dying child. They wanted to ensure that the children and their families received the best support possible.
This involved a complete restructure of the care team and significant investment into services both in the hospice and outreach in the community. Strong collaborative partnerships were also built with Alder Hey critical care teams and Liverpool Women’s Hospital perinatal and neonatal services.
Jessica said: “The outcome of these significant changes has resulted in Claire House seeing an 84 per cent increase in the number of children and families using our hospice services and a 186 per cent rise in our bereaved caseload during the same time period.
“The number of perinatal and neonatal referrals has seen the biggest increase, with the majority of our referrals now in the age range of up to four years.
“The hospice continues to be magnificently supported by the local community and our fundraising is growing. However, the sheer increase in the number of families using Claire House in such a short time frame, combined with children’s and young people’s increasingly complex medical health needs, means we are now struggling to cope with the demand.
“This is why we are urgently calling on our business community to keep helping Claire House and support the charity ball this autumn, so we can keep up with the demand for our vital services.”
The One Chance Claire House Charity Ball, which is a black-tie event, takes place on Friday, October 4 in the walled garden marquee at Wirral’s Thornton Manor.
Headline sponsor of the event is Progress to Excellence Group and details of further sponsorship packages and tickets are available by contacting the Claire House events team on 0151 343 0883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.