When a family is told that their child is likely to die before adulthood, life as they know it is gone forever. Their family changes instantly and everybody is affected.
The Donna Louise supports families in Staffordshire and Cheshire. Our purpose is to provide care to children and young adults who have been diagnosed with a condition that may very well shorten their lives. Many of these conditions cause progressive deterioration, rendering the child increasingly dependent on family caregivers. The support we give embraces the whole family. Family members, especially parents and siblings, will be vulnerable as they face the changes in life that the child’s diagnosis creates, and as they anticipate bereavement.
Our Care Team provide planned and emergency respite care, end-of-life care, bereavement support, counselling and support groups, play, art and music therapy, and physiotherapy. Whether having lots of fun and bringing families together at the hospice, providing respite in the family home, being there during hospital stays, facilitating support groups in the community, or simply being at the end of the phone, The Donna Louise is there for families across Staffordshire and Cheshire – whenever, wherever, always.
Demand for our services increases annually and we are supporting more families with a young person with a life limiting condition; in 2016/17, we cared for 242 families with 392 siblings, provided 1,077 hours of community support and 1,524 nights of respite stay. We have seen a 40% increase in referrals in the last year, as statutory funding is cut, and families look for the support they rely on from other sources.
However long or short a child’s life may be, The Donna Louise is there to support every member of the family, every step of the way – from initial diagnosis until they no longer need us.
You can find The Donna Louise Trust at 1 Grace Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8FN