The first time we ever had the privilage to be part of the Donna Louise Trust was when Holly was just 7 months old. She was still very very poorly from her operation. She was still tiny too and only just out of newborn clothes. She was NG fed and also had to have oxygen with her at all times.
How the trust helped us, was when we were invited to have a short stay in their respite hospice TreeTops. A beautiful place with everything a baby, toddler, child or teen could want. With a huge multi-sensory roon and a beautiful hot tub, and the building surrounded by stunning gardens.
At the time we had just the 2 boys and Holly, we nervously went for our first stay. They showed us to the parents accommodation up stairs. They are lovely little rooms, warm and comfortable and very relaxing, and then took all the children off to play. 1 & 2 LOVED it there. They did go a little wild to start with, but they were well behaved with it thankfully. Holly cried a lot, which upset me at first, I couldnt leave her, and no one pushed me too, although it was about having a rest and a break from seeing to Holly’s feeds and cares and just enjoy Holly for Holly. No one ever said I was doing too much or not enough, everything you wanted to do was OK.
The staff are so amazing too, you watch them with all the other children no matter their ability or disability and you can see the children LOVE being with them, and they are having so much fun. The smiles that greet you every time you go make you feel at home, make you feel that you are not a burden, and that you are doing a great job.
Your heart breaks for some of the other families, you truely appreciate that in actual honestly, although your life can be a bit bad at times there is always someone worse off.
As Holly has gotten older and the family has grown, we are still welcomed with the same loving arms as we always have. Holly always comes home with clothes covered in paint, goo and yummy yummy food, she drags her carer around and they have such wonderful patience as they put her in the Fairy dress up set, take it off, put her in the police suit, take it off, put her in the fairy dress, take it off… and so on and so on. They never say “Oh Holly thats enough now” like I would do at home, they are never too busy, and no play is too messy. The whole place looks like a bomb has dropped when the Rilly Clan descend on the place. But again, no one ever says “Hey, you made the mess you clean it up” (apart from me and Mr Rilly to our bunch)
The staff regularly join in on the Hide & Seek games, or football in the corridor, or even the odd water fight too. Its amazing how far you can fire water from a 50ml syringe 😉
Summer is beautiful there, the doors are wide open and the kids run in and out, there are bikes and trucks, goals, hoops and swings for them to play with. Ball pits and sandpits too.
The Donna Louise Trust is a wonderful charity set up to help families with children that have life limiting illnesses. The scale is immense from Cancer & Tumours, Heart problems, and severe Autism, and each and every child in their care is as special as the next.
Because it is a charity why not reach in your pocket and just donate a few pounds. I have not been asked by the charity to write this, this is from my heart for them.
So please give… If you can