Lucy Hudson, who regularly visits Jacksplace, wrote a poem about the hospice for young adults. This is 'Home from Home'.
A place of rest, a place of peace,
A place to seek cathartic release.
What this means to you, you will shortly see,
Is not quite the same as it means to me.
I say the word “hospice" and you begin crying,
As, for a short moment, you fear that I'm dying.
But here is the truth, take note, I implore,
The role of a hospice is so much more…
To nurture, to teach, to give life more meaning,
As we experience life without parents intervening!
A chance to explore who we want to be,
And learning to live independently.
A place of friendship, a place of fun,
A place where weakness and strength become one.
A place to flourish, a place to grow,
But also a place for when it's time to let go.
Though sad times may arise, when we lose someone dear,
We're safe in the knowledge that they're always here,
For families and friends seeking comfort and care;
That special bond we'll always share.
So, dear readers, please understand,
That the sorrows and joys go hand-in-hand,
And, now that I've found them,
I no longer feel alone,
In my favourite little getaway…
My Home from Home.
Lucy lives in Kent but travels to Jacksplace to enjoy respite services at the dedicated hospice for young adults. In her story, Lucy tells us all about family life with congenital muscular dystrophy and other complex needs, and how Jacksplace has given her independence and freedom when she needed it most.
“It can be very difficult living with a complex disability, especially when you have a big family. It requires your parents to dedicate a lot of their time to your needs, as well as trying to support your other siblings, or family life is disrupted by the comings and goings of your carers - it can be quite stressful all round. This is why respite services are so important…
“I am the oldest of five siblings… but I also have congenital muscular dystrophy as well as other complex needs. For years we've supported each other as best we could; we didn't know any different so it's been normal for us. Yes, it's been difficult at times, but we've always found our own ways of dealing with things and done everything as a family. Then, one day, when I was around 12 years old, we were told about respite services and how they not only give families a rest from the daily worries and stresses of caring for a child with a disability, but they also give those with disabilities the chance to have a mini break of their own!
“This is completely different to what I'd always envisaged respite to be. Three or four times a year I would go to the children's respite place, having lots of fun away from my family, in the knowledge that they were also having a well deserved break from my care and that I was being well looked after.
“Where I come from, there are little to no respite facilities beyond the age of 19 where my complex needs can be properly met, and so the first time I visited Jacksplace for respite, I travelled approximately 125 miles. Was it worth it? Most definitely!
“Jacksplace means I can experience freedom and independence. It has become my new home from home!"