When Brian first told us about Alec’s Angels last summer, he said that he’d like the donations from Alec’s fund to go towards supporting families with the practical things when they go home after their child’s stay at Helen & Douglas House. This was perfect timing because by amazing coincidence we were just setting up our new Home Volunteering Project.
In January, we launched a pilot scheme with the aim of supporting families on a purely practical level within their own home. Families using the hospice houses were contacted and we asked them what type of support that would be useful to them. What they told us formed the basis of the new project.
Volunteers have been specially trained to offer families practical support with things like everyday chores, doing the grocery shopping, picking up siblings from schools and transporting and picking up from after school activities, ironing, some cooking, helping siblings with homework and gardening. One family told us that coming home after a lengthy stay, and coping with everything else, the fact that the grass was overgrown was really upsetting and the ‘final straw’. Parents also talked about the value of having someone to help with chores, so that they could be parents to their vulnerable child and spend quality time with them, or their other children.
More volunteers are now being trained so that we can hopefully offer the scheme to more families in the future.
This is a wonderful tribute to Alec. A huge thank you to Alec’s Angels for their generous support and good luck for the It’s a Knock Out! event this summer!