Beckton hospice support group will be ‘life-line’

A support group that will offer parents of sick children a ‘life-line’ has been set up in Newham.

The drop-in service at Richard House Children’s Hospice in Beckton was welcomed by a mum whose son has Down Syndrome and leukaemia.

Debbie Davey, mum to four-year-old Aiden, says the family drop-in group will be a “life-line” for parents whose children have life-limiting, life-threatening or complex healthcare conditions.

The service, which will be provided in partnership with Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, will give families extra support and advice in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Debbie, 33, of Harold Hill, Essex, said: “Parents are the best therapy I have found. They don’t judge; they are your friends. They have been my inspiration and biggest support. I hope families can find their own positives from this service.”

Despite having worked for 14 years with children with special needs, Debbie says it wasn’t until she had Aiden that she fully experienced what parents go through.

He was born with problems with his bowels, reflux, breathing and brain and has required countless operations.

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The drop-in group, which will meet monthly, will give children the opportunity to play with each other in a safe environment, where there are support workers who understand their needs and conditions.

Rachel Flower, Richard House’s play and care co-ordinator, said: “We will provide a variety of games and group activities for the children to keep them busy and occupied so their parents get the chance to have a cup of tea, talk to other families in a similar situation and relax for a couple of hours.”

For more information contact either Richard House on (020) 7540 0243 or Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity on 01708 375830