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‘Vital’ young persons service reopens at Ipswich hospice

PUBLISHED: 13:47 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:47 31 July 2020

The vital short break service at St Elizabeth Hospice is reopening after closing due to lockdown  Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

The vital short break service at St Elizabeth Hospice is reopening after closing due to lockdown Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

A vital service providing short breaks for young people with life-limiting illnesses has reopened at St Elizabeth Hospice.

The service helps young people have a break away from their daily routines  Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICEThe service helps young people have a break away from their daily routines Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

The short breaks unit, the first of its kind in the UK, reopened at the hospice in Foxhall Road on July 22 under the hospice’s young adults brand, Zest.

The unit gives young people the opportunity to relax and unwind while receiving clinical and personal care, with WiFi, TV, DVDs and an Xbox games console among the facilities available, alongside a sensory room.

It also has a self-catering kitchen and offers up to two night stays for young people and their carers.

Helen Finlinson, young adult care and transition lead, said: “We are so pleased to reopen our short breaks service and welcome back many of the young people and their families who benefit from the service which helps them enjoy normal social opportunities that can sometimes be challenging to access.

“The extra stresses and responsibilities put on families by coronavirus has been hard and that is why it is so important we are able to re-launch Short Breaks in a safe manner and we are encouraging any families caring for young people and their carers to get in touch so we can help.”

But not only does it provide respite for young people, it also aids parent carers – with a recent study by the Disabled Children’s Partnership finding 72% of parent carers have provided far greater care as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

Andrea Docker, whose son George uses the service and attended its reopening, said the service helps not only George, but her whole family.

She said: “It has been a very long and hard time for us through the last four months of lockdown, everything has changed for George’s routine and he has struggled to cope with having to stay inside the same four walls.

“As a result he was very excited to be going back to staying at St Elizabeth Hospice seeing his friends, the staff and other familiar faces.

“For myself, I was able to recharge my batteries and also spend some quality time with my other son too. It is important that as a family we are able to return to some form of normality while also remaining safe.”

More information on the unit can be found by visiting the hospice’s website.


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