How the Family Space began

April 6th, 2023 Posted in Blog
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One of our wonderful nurses, Zoe, continuously has a huge impact on the In-patient Unit. She regularly goes above and beyond to ensure every patient is comfortable and happy, with all needs taken care of, no matter what their needs may be.

Recently, Zoe became inspired by a young family she met on the ward. The patient was very young himself, and his three young girls found coming in to visit their Dad very tough. Their Mum felt torn between wanting to spend time at the Hospice and understanding how hard the girls found it.

Zoe noticed the patient starting to feel very low and sad about not being able to spend time with his family. It didn’t take long before she set about thinking of ways to make the girls feel more comfortable with spending time at the Hospice. Zoe organised a gazebo outside of the bedroom for the family to enjoy the outdoors, and arranged fun sleepovers as well as film nights.

She also created a craft space where they could take some time to themselves if they needed it, whilst still being at the Hospice. This made the family feel much closer during one of the hardest times of their life.

Zoe saw how important it was for children to feel comfortable around the ward and decided to start plans for a ‘Family Space’. Zoe told us;

I made it my mission to help patients make memories with their loved ones and take their mind off what’s going on

This couldn’t have been possible without some very generous donations:

Vickii Cornborough, Rugby Against Cancer Ambassador, kindly nominated Rowans Hospice to receive a £1,000 donation. Vickii started;

The Rowans support provided had such a positive impact on my Grandad’s final days, providing Hospice at Home end of life care. He called the nurses his angels, and the really were. He looked forward to their visits every day, their kindness, giving him dignity and comfort, allowing him to spend his final days surrounded by his loving family

The Charity was also nominated by Trustees of Rugby Against Cancer to receive a further donation of £1,000. Trustee, Jim stated;

We recently lost our good friend and fellow trustee Graham ‘Sid’ Street following a four-year battle with cancer. Whilst receiving end of life care at the Rowans Hospice in Portsmouth, Sid and his wife Alison spoke with the nurses and it became apparent that there was no designated family area within the facility. There are areas of reflection but nowhere for families to grab five minutes of comfort with a sofa, television, toys, etc. We have therefore decided to make our Trustee donation to Rowans and matching the £1,000 donation from our Ambassador Vickii Cornborough’s nomination. If I’m honest it was a simple choice to make, Aaron being a Portsmouth local, my mother having received end of life care at the hospice 12 years ago and of course, in hope of Sid’s legacy continuing.

Zoe and the team set about making the best use possible of this wonderful donation and began to purchase items such as puzzles, game consoles, and toys.

The Family Space Zoe had envisioned soon came to life. The space now includes a TV, Nintendo Switch, a range of games and puzzles, arts and crafts, teddies, and some beautiful fairy lights to give it a warm and homely feel.

Zoe told us;

I love seeing the space used by families, and it is used all the time. We take on the families as well as the patients and it is amazing to see that I have helped to make a difference

With Rugby Against Cancer adding;

The mission statement of the Charity is to support those in the rugby community affected by cancer. Knowing that by donating to the Rowans we have helped give an area of respite to families and friends that are visiting patients is humbling and pleasing in equal measure. We are only a small charity but our networking allows us to raise money and support people in various ways.  Rugby is a close-knit community and we always have each other’s backs, we are using this camaraderie to demonstrate to the wider community that we care.

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Rugby Against Cancer for making Zoe’s visions come to life. The area is now loved and used by many families.

If you would like to make a donation to the Hospice, please click the button below.


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