Charity Registration number: 1045077
Earlier this year we were able to support our friends at Candlelighters with a grant of £16,000 to fund two Family Support Workers from June to September. The team recently got in touch to update us on the support they have been providing and the impact the family support workers have had during these isolating times.
Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the way in which Candlelighters are able to offer their support. Families have encountered enormous hardships, with many being required to shield at home and hospital restrictions meaning only one parent could be on the ward with their child, remaining there permanently to avoid bringing the virus to the ward.
Although some of these restrictions have eased, the threat and reality of local lockdowns and uncertainty over restrictions, has meant families have entered another daunting phase of the pandemic. Many continue to face extreme psychological and emotional challenges as they make decisions on how to adapt to the frequently changing guidelines, whilst limiting risk and protecting their child.
Roz Walton, Trusts and Foundations Executive says: “The effect of this pandemic will be felt by our families for some time, but for as long as that is, we will be here to support them. By continuing to offer our adapted support services, we will ensure our families do not face these uncertain times alone.
The grant from The Kentown Wizard Foundation has been fully spent on the salaries of two family support workers across the last four months. These two roles have continued to deliver a range of virtual services to support the children and families during this time and we have been overwhelmed with the numbers of children and families that have been accessing this support.”
The feedback from families has been amazing.
“All my children love the virtual craft sessions and I love how it brings out the creativity in them. It gives me and Dad an hour to catch up with work or make phone calls without the risk of being interrupted and I really enjoy listening to them talking about what they’ve been doing during the week with such enthusiasm (and being stuck in the house doing nothing but them finding fun things to tell Vicky and Emma (The Family Support Workers) makes my heart smile). Vicky and Emma are always so happy and smiley and really engage with the children, making them laugh and feel special.” (Mum, 2020)
Melissa’s Mum said, “The Candlelighters sessions have been brilliant. She has had so much fun doing crafts with Vicky and Emma. It helps her to feel independent (she usually tells mum and dad to ‘go away’ as she can manage on her own!). She has also been able to teach Vicky and Emma some crafts too, as well as seeing other children who understand what it is like being in lockdown, especially when she went to the Virtual Patients Group. It’s been lovely seeing her smiling, confident and happy and proud of what she’s made!”