To recognise Children’s Hospice Week (22nd-28th June) we want to share some stories about how Charlie House helps and supports local families, now and in the future.
Here at Charlie House we think it’s important to support families practically as well as emotionally. To help us do this we have created a lending library full of items which families can borrow to make their lives that little bit easier.
We have ongoing discussions with the families we support about which items they feel they would most benefit from, and we are continuing to build and expand our lending library to meet the demand.
The Gairm manual sling is one of the simplest and most popular items in our lending library. It can be used to transfer a child out of their wheelchair safely and comfortably when a hoist is not available or practical. This makes it ideal for families to take with them if they are going on a trip where they may have to move their child to and from their wheelchair, for example to move them into an airline seat. It also has lots of practical day-to-day benefits and can be used to let children with complex disabilities take part in physical activities such as trampolining, or even just move them from their wheelchair to the floor to play and spend time with siblings and parents. By borrowing the manual sling from our Lending Library families can try it out and make sure it is suitable for their child, rather that going to the expense of purchasing it then finding out it is not suitable.
We have a huge range of sensory toys available for families to borrow including toys with different textures, lights and sound. Sensor play is very important for children – read more here about how it can benefit children with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions.
To help children and families relax they can borrow from our range of light-up equipment including fibre optic lights and projectors. Teamed up with some soothing music this can let families create their own makeshift sensory room at home.
We have also recently added iPads to our lending library which families can borrow pre-loaded with lots of child-appropriate programmes, music, and Makaton and other communication apps. These iPads can be used to help children communicate with their parents and siblings, or as a distraction tool.
Our most recent addition to the lending library is a lightweight mobile hoist which is perfect for families to borrow if they are going on holiday or spending the night with friends or relatives. Our services team will also have the hoist available at Charlie House activities where venues do not already have hoisting capabilities.
The Charlie House lending library is a simple way in which we can support families with practical items which will make their and their child’s life that little bit easier and more comfortable.
To enable us to provide vital support to families now and in the future, we need your help to Support Our Services. Please text CHARLIESOS to 70085 to donate £5 (texts cost £5 + one standard network message).
Motivated to make a larger donation? Click here to donate and remember to tell us in the comments if you would like to support our Big Build Appeal.