Naomi House emerging from lockdown - Lesley’s blog


Naomi House & Jacksplace have been busy during the Covid-19 Pandemic. We took in adult patients from local hospitals to support the NHS through the Coronavirus peak. We provided remote play, sibling support, counselling and social work services to hundreds of local families. And, of course, we provided end of life and post bereavement care to families at the most difficult of moments. All the while our fundraising effectively stopped. 

Now, we have launched an appeal to ensure we build resilience for the future and make good on our core promise to families: To be there when they need us for as long as they need us, on the good days, difficult days and last days. But we need your help. 

Hear from our Director of Care, Lesley on how you can help...

Local life limited children and their families couldn’t come to us during the pandemic. Isolating at home with an extremely vulnerable child has been so hard for so many. Now, we’re working to open up again to give these special children the summer of fun and laughter they deserve.

—Lesley Brook,

I have to tell you; it’s been a rollercoaster. In March when the pandemic hit, we closed both hospices for everything except end of life care at Naomi House (which has continued throughout the crisis). In just a few short days we converted Jackspace into an overflow care centre for local adults – people who could leave the hospital (and thus free beds there) but who needed clinical care before they were ready to go home. Our eldest patient was a wonderful 95-year old gentleman! Our nursing team loved being able to contribute, to be a part of the local nursing response when the pandemic was at its peak.

By May, the pressure had eased and those beds were no longer needed. We opened Naomi House up just a little, taking a few children who needed emergency respite care. Jacksplace was empty and so we took advantage and had some work done installing piped oxygen and suction into each bedroom (which is something we’d been looking to do for a while).

We reached out and asked parents what they wanted from our hospices. We couldn’t let parents stay with us any more (and it will be like that for at least the rest of this year) but we were ready to welcome children back in limited numbers – if the parents felt it was safe. They overwhelmingly said, “Yes please!!”. And so, we have begun to do just that.We’re going to open both hospices up again for the summer. The numbers at any one time will be smaller because for such vulnerable children social distancing is absolutely essential. There are going to be some restrictions. Days out won’t be possible and we’ve had to close our ball pit (which everyone loves!). But everything else is absolutely still on.

Our incredibly experienced team will deal with the often complex and challenging care needs each child and young adult has – so that they can just be children again. We’re going to play games together, sing songs, tell stories. We’re going to have parties and amazing food and we’re definitely going to have water fights between the kids and the nurses in the garden like we do every year. Because, despite all the challenges we will face, we are determined to continue to be by the side of these incredibly vulnerable youngsters, to still make every day the best it can be.

— Lesley

We are ready, the parents are ready – and the children and young adults are definitely ready – the only thing we need is the money to pay for their care. And that’s why I am asking for your help today.

Please could you give a donation, of whatever you feel is right for you, to pay for the specialist medical care and support children and families will need while they’re here having fun over the summer, and to build resilience, ensuring Naomi House & Jackplace is there at every stage of their journey. You must look after your and your family’s needs first, of course. But if you can spare anything, I promise that your gift will help to bring care and joy into another child’s life when they really need it.

After months of real struggle, we’re finally starting to see the sun come out again.

Thank you for your friendship and thank you in advance for your gift. Take care of yourself and your loved ones – and I hope to be able to write to you again soon in much happier times.

Lesley Brook, Director of Care

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Help us make a huge difference and bring care and joy into a child’s life when they really need it this summer by leaving us a one-off or monthly donation today. Thank you.

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Read more

Two lovely people have taken the time to write about their recent experiences. Elli is a highly experienced member of our nursing team, much loved by all the families here. Vickey is mum to Ollie, who has really been missing coming to stay with us. These are the people who will benefit from your support of our charity appeal. Click below to read their personal blogs.