Charlie Sharples opens new project at James Hopkins Trust

Charlie Sharples – the Gloucester and England Rugby Union player along with members of the Wooden Spoon, Children’s Charity of rugby, joined staff and children at James Hopkins Trust on 1st November for the official opening of the new stimulating floor, funded by Wooden Spoon Gloucestershire. The floor covering which has recently been laid in the Play Room and Messy Play room at the Trusts Respite Centre in Barnwood, has colourful shapes within the design to support the sensory experience for the children.

The James Hopkins Trust has been providing nursing respite care for life limited & life threatened young children aged under six living in Gloucestershire for over 27 years. It provides this care either in the family home or at Kites Corner, its purpose built multi-sensory respite centre which opened in 2002. The new flooring will be stimulating and easier to maintain, reducing the risk of infection by being easier to clean, waterproof and more practical for the environment.

The Trust which provides 1500 hours a month of free nursing respite care to the families it supports, provide overnight respite as well as its “Little Kites” Crèche each week, where the children make full use of the Play Room and other areas of the Trust such as the multi-sensory light room, fibre optics, bubble tubes and UV lights as well as the sensory garden with its different surfaces and levels providing the children with different sensations as they move about in the garden. Suitable flooring is therefore vital to both the nurses and the children who use the centre.

Monica Stephens Deputy Trust Manager said, ‘The support from Wooden Spoon has been incredible. We need to raise £49,000 a month to provide our services so capital expenditure such as this will not always be a priority. Julian Jenkins, managing partner with Dee & Griffin Solicitors, put us in touch with Wooden Spoon last year following a visit that he had made to the Trust. Our application for funding was fully funded by them and we feel privileged to be part of the Wooden Spoon community!’

The James Hopkins Trust provides free nursing respite care for life limited and life threatened young children living in Gloucestershire. The causes of the disabilities are numerous, but include renal failure, cardiac and metabolic problems, respiratory conditions, leukaemia, cancer, cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, cerebral palsy & neurological conditions. The Trust is the only registered charity in the whole of Gloucestershire to provide this level of care in either the family home or at Kites Corner.

Monica also added “We have really enjoyed getting to know the Wooden Spoon Charity; they have been fully supportive and are absolutely committed to making a difference. Without the generous support of our local community and organisations such as Wooden Spoon we would really struggle to support our families”.