For brave Rose Parker and her family, Little Bridge House was a lifeline worth moving half way across the country for.
The three-year-old was guest of honour at a ceremony last week (Sept 9), where she accepted a £1,250 donation from St Austell Brewery on behalf of the hospice.
Rose, who lives in Fremington, is a fragile little girl with a life-limiting and life-threatening undiagnosed brain disorder which has left her severely disabled and in a wheelchair. She is also blind and has epilepsy. Rose receives 24-hour care, seven days a week and will do for the rest of her life.
Eighteen months ago, her family moved to Devon from Lincolnshire to be closer to family – and being right next to the hospice was an added bonus.
Rose’s mum Julie Evett said: “I personally would like to say a big thank you to St Austell Brewery and every individual person who has ever donated to the hospice.
“Having a child with disabilities is the hardest and most painful thing I have been faced with - a rollercoaster of emotions. The hospice gives me time to breath, to sleep, to see my friends. It gives me freedom to be me.”
St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust made the donation as part of a £5,000 pot, which was shared equally between Little Bridge House, St Luke’s Hospice, North Devon Hospices and Rowcroft Hospice.
The trust has raised a whopping £217,000 since it was started in 2003, with donations going to well-known charities, local good causes and individuals who need help. St Austell Brewery hopes the trust will donate £50,000 this year alone.
As well as the cheque, St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust’s Vice Chairman Ian Blunt presented Rose with a cuddly teddy bear and a goody bag for her family.
He said: “Rose is a very special little girl and I was delighted she could join us and receive our donation on behalf of the hospice. It was an honour to meet her.
“The local community is at the heart of everything we do and it’s important we give something back as a thank you for all the support we receive.”
Little Bridge House, the South West’s first children’s hospice, cares for children who have illnesses which mean they will die before reaching adulthood. The hospice provides expert care for them, their parents and siblings.
Julie said: “I was working full time and struggling to care for Rose and her sisters. I gave up my job, home and friends in the hope that we would receive better care in Devon.
“I knew there was a hospice in the village and it was one of the major factors in moving here. The most amazing thing for me is that when I drop Rose off for respite and kiss her goodbye I know she is being cared for in a loving and friendly home environment with some truly wonderful and caring people.
“I can totally relax and enjoy my time away from Rose without worrying. I'm very lucky that I can choose to stay with Rose and my other girls at the hospice and meet other families or I can leave her and go home or go away for a few days and recharge my batteries.
“The care for Rose’s big sisters Alanna and Nicole is excellent and the staff spend a lot of time with the siblings and ensure they have lots of fun. My girls love it and are always asking when the can go next.”
Alexa Garner, from Little Bridge House, said: “We are delighted that St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust has awarded Children’s Hospice South West a grant to go to our north Devon based hospice Little Bridge House.
“The support from the Trust will enable Little Bridge House to continue providing its world class care to approximately 200 life-limited children and their families each year – helping create special memories for families and making the most of short and precious lives.
“On 25 September, Little Bridge House will celebrate its 15th birthday and the donation from St. Austell Brewery Charitable Trust is the icing on the cake! We are grateful to the Trust for their continued support, following a generous grant towards our Precious Lives Appeal, and look forward to working with them in the future.”
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