Each year, BCHC Charity spends around £15,0000 on items, initiatives, and projects to support patients, and their families and loved ones, during their last months. These items help families build beautiful memories together, provide treasured keepsakes and aid families and carers in processing their grief.
For example, each January BCHC Charity provides tickets to families accessing end of life care for their child to the pantomime at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Although we were unable to do this in recent years due to the pandemic, families who attended the Snow White performance in January 2020 had an absolutely wonderful time, and we intend to continue this scheme as soon as it is safe to do so.
Thanks to incredibly kind donations from Matt Nation of Provide, BCHC Charity were able to introduce Bereavement Memory Boxes for the families of patients in end of life care in 2020. The idea was brought to the charity by Ruth Denton, Head of Palliative Care, when it became clear that the pandemic would affect families and friends’ ability to grieve. The boxes are a way for families to celebrate the life of their loved ones and contain remembrance items such as memory candles and seeds to grow a forget-me-not plant. The boxes have an inset on the lid so that families can display a treasured photograph and are large enough that further personal trinkets, toys, and other important items can be added to create a box of wonderful memories.
The charity has also recently funded a trial of contact detail magnets for the palliative care team to give out to those accessing end of life care. When a carer needs to contact the palliative care team, it is often a stressful and difficult time, and trying to find the right letter with the correct number can add unnecessary extra stress to the situation. The magnets are bright and orange so as to be noticeable and can be placed on any magnetic surface so that finding the correct number to call is quick and easy. Thanks to the success of this trial, the team are now providing these magnets to all new patients accessing the service.
Local artist Hannah Clark designed bespoke framed prints for the charity, 100 of which have been provided to families accessing our Community Children's Nurses and Children's Palliative Care teams as a means to brighten the children's day and provide a lasting celebration of the child’s life for their families. Senior Community Paediatric Palliative Care Nurse Abbie Alcock was very grateful for the charming prints; “Our families have loved them so much, and it’s so lovely to have such personal things to give out.”
As well as these ongoing initiatives, we also provide funding for one-off projects such as the refurbishment, redecoration and extra amenities for bereavement rooms, the provision of picture books about bereavement to help children process a loss in the family, information cards, engraved leaves for our memorial tree, and more. If you would like to donate to help support our palliative care initiatives, please visit our End of Life appeal page.