This morning, I was privileged to be invited to visit Richard House Children’s Hospice in Newham. What an amazing place! What amazing people! Richard House provides care for children with life-limiting conditions and complex healthcare needs, as well as support for the whole family. The emphasis is on positive experiences and creating memories.
The purpose-built centre is light, bright and airy with beautiful gardens and outdoor planting and play areas. Apart from a few clues it looks like any other children’s playcentre, with children’s artwork on the walls, children’s sensory toys and a well-stocked playroom and sensory suite. There’s also a teenage den to give the older ones some separate space. The residential-care rooms look just like a bedroom at home (ok, a lot tidier than the bedrooms in my house but you get the idea!)
It feels wrong that parents have to experience the death of a child. It feels wrong that the innocence of siblings is shattered at such an early age in such a cruel manner. But death doesn’t discriminate against age, religion, ethnicity or gender. In the meantime, there is the best care a child can get and the precious memories that the people at Richard House work so hard to help them create. Guys, you’re incredible!