James Hopkins Trust provides care for babies and children up to the age of 5 living in Gloucestershire with a life limiting or life threatening condition while supporting their families.

Since 1989 they have helped well over 600 children and their families in every corner of Gloucestershire, their free nursing respite can be night or day in the family home or at their purpose built multi-sensory respite centre and gardens called Kites Corner.

Kites Corner is tucked away in a quiet corner of Gloucester. The purpose built multisensory respite centre is a sanctuary for the families who visit. The building is homely and welcoming while housing all of the essential equipment necessary to ensure the children can be safely cared for. The beautiful gardens offer adventure and fun yet radiate serenity, offering a safe place to relax. Inside, the rooms are full of laughter and joy with activities and games waiting for the children. Their unique garden was built to entertain and inspire disabled and seriously ill children. It is a carefully designed area to please all five of the senses: Sight, Touch, Sound, Scent and Taste. A favourite feature, with children (and adults!), is a working zebra crossing to help children learn road safety through play. There are also specialist accessible playground toys for children with all abilities to enjoy. Amongst the fun in the garden there is a tranquil area dedicated to the children who have passed away.

Parents may know their baby has a condition that will cause severe disability or shorten their life before they are born, other babies will be diagnosed soon after birth or in early childhood. Often no-one can tell parents how long their child will live, only that they need constant care. James Hopkins Trust exists to help these children and their families. The children have a range of conditions, some of which are so complex, 24 hour specialist care and support is needed. James Hopkins Trust understands the strain that caring for a very poorly child can place on the whole family and without support, many parents struggle to find any form of respite and some find it difficult to even leave the house. Under such pressure families can fall apart.

Respite care at James Hopkins Trust provides a rest from caring and helps to restore a sense of normality to family life. Whether it’s catching up with housework, doing the shopping or having a good night’s sleep. It also gives parents time to focus on their other children, who can sometimes feel overlooked or isolated. Taking care of a seriously ill child can be one of the most draining and difficult tasks a parent, grandparent or carer can face. Beyond handling physical challenges and medical needs, they must deal with a child’s emotional needs and the impact that a prolonged condition or illness can have on the entire family. This tough balancing act doesn’t have to be done alone – James Hopkins Trust is there to support the whole family.

For more information please visit https://www.jameshopkinstrust.org.uk/

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