Extension enables extra support

THOUSANDS of relatives coming to terms with having a child diagnosed with a life-limiting illness have been receiving brilliant bespoke care thanks to the Wooden Spoon-supported services of a specialist charity.

A £50,000 donation from Wooden Spoon Surrey allowed Sebastian’s Action Trust, which provides holidays, care and support for life-limited children and their families, to add the Daisy Wing extension to its Hampshire-based The Bluebells respite home

The new facility, officially opened in May 2016, includes the Butterfly wellbeing and counselling suite, which by March this year had welcomed 3,289 day visitors, allowing 181 families to spend time together, access information about everything from available services to financial entitlement and crucially receive support in the event of bereavement.

Sebastian’s Action Trust, which was founded by Jane Gates OBE in memory of her son who died aged 11, uses the suite as part of its comprehensive service in supporting families through diagnosis, treatment and bereavement.

The charity refers to children who pass away as Butterflies, with their relatives welcomed as Butterfly Families. They are able to use the suite as a safe place to reflect, grieve and talk to each other or trained outreach workers.

A charity spokesman said: “These facilities prove vital for our grieving families. When they are at home, they are surrounded by memories of their loved one and may have to deal with visitors, calls and general everyday routines.

“By providing a suite such as our Butterfly Suite, the families are given the opportunity to escape all of the distractions of home to help their grief, even if only for a while.”

The donation from the children’s charity of rugby was made possible after the captains of Wentworth Golf Club’s men’s and women’s teams picked Wooden Spoon as their charity of the year.

Members of Wooden Spoon Surrey and golfers jointly agreed to support Sebastian’s Action Trust after being thoroughly impressed with the charity following meetings with Jane Gates.