Will you help celebrate our special nurses?

A CAMPAIGN to celebrate the dedication of nurses caring for children with life-limiting conditions, has been launched in time for International Nurses’ Day (12 May).

Derian House Children’s Hospice has today kick-started its Sponsor a Nurse for a Day campaign to raise vital funds and give its nurses a much-deserved thank you.

The project invites donors to pledge, raise, or donate £150 for the charity – to sponsor one of its 52-strong team of care staff for the day.

Kathryn Norris, a specialist end-of-life nurse who works in Derian’s hospice at home team, said: “People often ask how I can look after dying children. Well, I am at peace with the idea that I cannot fix or cure every child, as much as I may like to, but what I can do is offer support, comfort and reassurance, and instill a sense of calm for a family in a world that feels like it is falling apart. Looking after someone at end of life is a huge honour and privilege.”

The Chorley-based hospice offers respite and end-of-life-care to more than 400 children and young people, as well as their families.

It costs more than £4 million to run services every year, and yet less than 10 per cent of this comes from government funding. For the rest, the charity relies on the generous support of its donors.

The Sponsor a Nurse for a Day campaign aims to raise £25,000 for the charity. If every single day of the year was to be sponsored, the figure would come in at an impressive £54,750.

People are being invited to pick a special date they would like to sponsor a nurse on – whether in memory of a loved-one, or as a birthday present to a friend.

Schools, businesses and community groups are also invited to take part, to join together for a fundraising challenge.

Kevin Bedford, Fundraising Manager at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “It takes a special person to be a Derian nurse. It’s not just the children we care for, we also put our arms around the whole family – including siblings, parents and grandparents too.

“The breadth of skills our nurses use in an average day at Derian is awe-inspiring. They might be caring for a child at the end of his or her life, and then have to turn their attention to joining in a sing-a-long or an arts and crafts session.

“Our nurses give families the chance to just be families, not nurses or carers. We give them a chance to make the very most of the time they have together. That’s why our Sponsor a Nurse for a Day campaign isn’t just about raising vital funds, it’s also about recognising the wonderful work our nurses at Derian do, day in, day out.”

Visit www.derianhouse.co.uk/sponsoranurse to find out more.