Thank you Brian House!

Charity Registration number: 511009

Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to Brian House. The team have had to adapt their services to the ever-changing needs of their patients and families, while also adhering to government guidelines surrounding the pandemic.

Here at the Kentown Wizard Foundation we are blown away by the determination of the Brian House team, who have continued to support their children and families throughout these testing times. Children just like Toby, whose vulnerability during the pandemic meant that he was not able to visit Brian House… so Brian House came to him!

Toby is 21 months old and has already had six operations. He needs constant help just to breathe, which requires round-the-clock care. Thanks to Brian House home visits his exhausted parents were finally able to leave the house to do a food shop.

Toby’s family had this to say;

“We had been to Brian House about four times before COVID-19 hit. That first time he stayed overnight, we almost cancelled. It was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do. We thought there would not be anyone who could look after him the way we do. But it was the absolute best thing. He was perfectly safe and had loads of fun – the nurses were able to provide all the care he needed, and he was able to explore new environments and play with new toys.

We took our daughter Tia out – she had missed out on so much time with us. We went for dinner, to the movies and went bowling; things we just cannot do with Toby around. It was the quality time she needed, and for us it was a night not worrying about life and death constantly.

Then COVID-19 hit, and Toby is clinically extremely vulnerable. We did not go anywhere. It was not worth the risk. Then in around October, someone from Brain House got in touch and asked if we would be interested in a home visit. Of course, we were! They came at 10am and took over Toby’s care needs, as well as offering him new toys to play with and lots of craft things to do. He absolutely loved it, and we went to the supermarket. It was amazing – it felt like we were on day release.

The team at Brian House are so caring of Toby, and so engaging. They have helped him make some keepsakes for us, which I will absolutely treasure. They are a life saver for us – one of their visits came after a night when we did not have any overnight nurses, so we just slept while they were here. It was what we all needed.

Our lives have completely changed since Toby was born. We have had to give up work, and Tia has pretty much had to fend for herself. But he is an amazing little boy – such an inspiration to us all. He takes everything in his stride and always bounces back so fast. But every single day is a worry – that constant fear of his airway blocking and us losing him. But the Brian House staff, whether they are at the hospice or in our home, have given us the time we need to rest and recover, and to spend time with Tia, while Toby is having the best time creating special memories. We are so thankful for that.”

 

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A successful Virtual Night Run for Brian House

Charity Registration number: 511009

Just like many of our charity partners, Brian House fundraising has been hit hard by the pandemic. Social isolation has taken its toll and families are exhausted after months of providing 24/7 care for their child at home. This Summer should have been full of fun at Brian House Children’s Hospice. But the gardens were quiet, there have been no trips to the beach or park and no visitors as they continue to support their families the best they can.

Business as usual has taken on a whole new meaning for the team at Brian House as they strive to give their children and young people the ongoing care they need. The nurses are in PPE and in the circumstances where face-to-face contact is not an option, advice has often been provided over the phone.

To add to these already turbulent times the cancellation of one of the charity’s biggest fundraising events, came as another huge challenge. But this was not going to stop the Brian House team or the hundreds of volunteers eager to fundraise.

Last year the Brian House Night Run was a 7.5km run along Blackpool Promenade, under the famous Illuminations. This year it was a Virtual Night Run. Fundraisers received their runner packs in the post and were able to run their 7.5kms wherever they liked. 908 people took part in the Virtual Night Run overall and together raised £27,000 towards the running costs of Brian House Children’s Hospice.

Here at the Kentown Wizard Foundation, we are incredibly inspired by the Brian House team as well as the determination of the public to continue fundraising throughout these uncertain times. With this in mind, we are delighted to announce that we will also be sponsoring this years “Virtual Santa Dash”

Linzi Warburton – Head of Fundraising says

“The challenge of Covid-19, national and local restrictions and a priority to protect the community we care for, we have had to explored new creative and innovative ‘socially distanced’ approaches to our fundraising. Our annual Santa Dash is a highlight of the festive season with 2,000 Santa’s take part to help paint the town red. However, with the fantastic support of the Kentown Wizard Foundation we can help spread some festive spirit across Blackpool with this year’s Covid-secure Virtual Santa Dash. Thanks to the foundation’s continued support families can still take part and help raise much needed funds for Brian House children’s Hospice and the communities most vulnerable children.”

 

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Brian House – Music Therapy

Charity Registration number: 511009

Following last year’s grant to Brian House one of the main criteria was to increase the children’s music therapy sessions. 

These sessions not only bring laughter and song into Brian House but they also bring the children and staff together in a fun experience they can enjoy together.

Speaking with Brigitte the Music Therapist, she said;

“It is wonderful to be able to spend so much time each week with the children and help them to experience music. We do group sessions which really bring the children together as well as the whole Brian House team.”

A number of the children at Brian House do not speak, they all have different abilities, mobility and strengths. Through these music therapy sessions the children are able to express themselves in other ways.

Brigitte also holds individual sessions

“The individual sessions help me to get to know the children; to give them a voice and to show them I am listening to them. Its such a special thing to be able to do. Music therapy at Brian House is such a lovely job and to be able to do more of it is just fantastic.”

Following this, the Kentown Wizard team decided to take a visit to one of Brigitte’s sessions.

Debbie of The Kentown Wizard Foundation said;

“When we arrived at Brian House the Music Therapy session could be heard from the corridors. All the different sounds, mixed with the constant flow of laughter, did well to create an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere. We are delighted to be able to support these sessions and were extremely impressed with Brigitte’s work.”

www.brianhouse.org.uk

 

 

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INTRODUCING BRIAN HOUSE CHILDREN’S HOSPICE

Charity Registration number: 511009

Brian House is a specialist unit within Trinity Hospice that supports more than 80 families on the Fylde coast of Lancashire. They specialise in respite, palliative and end of life care for children and young adults living with life threatening conditions.

The house itself contains four themed bedrooms, from circus tents to pirate ships, a sensory room, crafts room and an incredibly inviting ball pool. It is hard to believe that this is in-fact not a holiday centre, but a fully equipped children’s hospice.

Brian House meets complex needs, providing support for families and care for children. Their respite care allows families the opportunity to experience times of relief and normality as they try to cope with the emotional, practical and financial implications of caring for a child whose life may be limited. 

In 2017 The Kentown Wizard Foundation supported Brian House by funding the salaries of two nurses. In 2018 we have granted an additional £450,000, to fund staff salaries for a further 3 years as well a number of exciting events and trips throughout 2018.

So far we have had the pleasure of sponsoring the Brian House Santa Dash, Bubble Rush and Golf day. We’ve helped celebrate their 21st birthday and now look forward to their exciting future fundraisers, Brian House China trek and the London to Paris cycle!

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