Children’s nurse, Francesca Lennon, is going the extra mile for seriously ill children, young adults and families this Summer by taking on the ultimate cycling challenge of cycling to every children’s hospice in the UK! And on Monday, she arrived at Naomi House & Jacksplace and was greeted by staff and a young adult staying at Jacksplace.
Francesca started the challenge on 20 June 2022, and over the course of 70 days, she will ride over 3,200 miles, with the aim of raising £500,000 for children’s hospices and generating awareness about the vital work that they deliver.
Francesca and her team were treated to specially baked flapjacks, refreshing drinks and cooling ice lollies. The team gave Francesca and her team a tour of the hospices and presented Francesca with a banner, created especially for Francesca by the children who use Naomi House.
It feels absolutely brilliant to be at Naomi House & Jacksplace. I’m constantly blown away by the level of support that children’s hospices can provide. Seeing the services Naomi House & Jacksplace can offer to children, young adults and families is absolutely incredible. I really want to bridge the gap between what people think a children’s hospice is and what it actually does, I want to be a voice for the children and families who use these services so I can raise awareness in getting them the support they need.
Francesca decided to do the challenge by launching ‘ChatUK’. Inspired by her work with seriously ill children for over 10 years, Francesca recently founded ChatUK (Children’s Hospices Across The UK), a project aimed at creating a network between the independent UK children’s hospices and educating the nation about the importance of the essential service they provide. Vitally, she’ll be raising funds for children’s palliative care charity, Together for Short Lives, to support children’s hospices.
There are 54 hospices across the UK that support seriously ill children and their families during their most difficult times, but with over 99,000 seriously ill children, hospices are struggling to raise the funds that they need to continue their vital work. ChatUK’s founding belief is that every child with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions should have access to the care and support they need and deserve. To find out more visit: https://www.chatukproject.com/
Just four months before the start of the challenge, Francesca devastatingly experienced her own personal loss, when her best friend’s son, Henry died from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia at nine years old. It is with a huge amount of love that she is dedicating ChatUK to Henry and has named her bike after him too. Henry always wanted to help others and Francesca hopes that through their story she will have an even more powerful message to spread with ChatUK. To donate to Francesca’s challenge and support Together for Short Lives and Naomi House & Jacksplace, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chatuk