A Dorset boy has become the face of Children’s Hospice Week (17-23 June) which aims to raise money and awareness of children’s hospice care around the UK and the seriously ill young people they support.
William is 7 and lives with his mum Tania, dad Pete and little sister Eleanor.
He was chosen as the face of ‘Moments that Matter’ campaign from the 54 children’s hospices across the UK.
William receives care from Julia’s House, the hospice has bases in Corfe Mullen and Devizes.
The seven-year-old was born with the arteries of his heart the wrong way around, meaning that he had to have open heart surgery at a week old.
This led to extensive brain damage and the onset of serious, uncontrolled epilepsy.
William’s mum Tania explained how the support the family receives from Julia’s House has enabled them to enjoy special moments together: “Once a month we go somewhere as a family but William’s nurse and carer come along too. That way we can enjoy a lovely, relaxing day together as a family, knowing there are extra pairs of hands to help care for William. We’ve taken them swimming, for a walk in the woods – all different places this time together is so precious.”
Julia’s House provides William and his family with a place where they can receive help and respite; whether that is by taking the children out for the afternoon so the parents can recharge or caring for the child themselves.
Emma Dixon, Communications Officer for Together for Short Lives, the charity behind the campaign said: “This Children’s Hospice Week we’re focusing on the moments that really matter to families, and the services that help create them. For us, William’s story showcases the best of children’s hospice care: bringing families together and wrapping them in a cocoon of care and support. Importantly, the lovely photos of his family and the care team also help us tackle some of the myths and misconceptions around children’s hospice care, showing that services like Julia’s House are warm, kind places offering a vital lifeline to families with a seriously ill child.”
Only 5% of Julia’s House’s funding comes from the government, if you would like to make a donation visit their website here.