Sue has been with the charity for 20 years in various care roles, and in September moved from the hospice into the community. Here’s a little message from Sue…
“I pack up my car with all the equipment I’ll need for my two visits. For the children with sensory needs, there’s a box unique for each child that contains things like scarves, tinsel, massage oil, flashing lights and instruments.
I also need supplies if I’m doing personal care too, like PPE. I’ll need my mask, aprons and sanitiser too, as I’ll be setting up feeds and administering medication.
My trusty backpack and laptop comes everywhere with me. There are Care Plans in each family’s home, but I can access their confidential records online and update their medical records in between visits.
My first visit is Rosie who is one year old. She loves lots of sensory play, as well as listening to stories and doing artwork. Even with children who can’t verbally communicate, we involve them in what we’re doing, describe the colours, textures, sounds.
Some children just like listening to us chat or we play music while we’re giving a hand or foot massage. We also use recorded sessions created by our Wellbeing Team, maybe creative or complementary therapy or a guided meditation.
On average our team will visit two children a day across Essex, but our shifts will vary. We do work evenings and weekends if that is more convenient for the family. Maybe they need help bathing their child and putting them to bed.
Or at the weekend their other children have clubs and groups to attend. Sometimes the parents just need a break so they can have a shower or do the weekly shop. They can spend that respite time however they need to.
My second visit is Archie. He has been cared for by Little Havens since he was 12 months old. Now a teenager, most of his care takes place in his own home. Tonight, Archie wants to play a board game with us.
We look after children and young people up to the age of 25. For the older ones, we usually spend our time chatting, playing board games, helping them to shower and blow dry their hair. I may have another carer with me to assist.
I really love my job. It brings together my background in care and play therapy. Every day is different and there is flexibility for the families.”
To support Little Havens, Essex’s only children’s hospice this Children’s Hospice Week with a one-off donation of any size please visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/childrenshospiceweek
This article was published on the 25th June 2021.