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Hospice in the Weald for Children: Caring for Ronit and Joseph

Hospice in the Weald is known for the outstanding care it provides terminally ill adults and their loved ones. The Hospice has reliably offered this across the west Kent and East Sussex area for more than 40 years and, in January, extended this to include care for children and young people.

More than 40 children, parents and siblings are now receiving support from the Hospice’s specialist team six months later. This includes home visits and emotional support from a family therapist. Made up of registered children’s nurses, children’s support workers and volunteers, the team deliver care throughout the week.

This summer sees the Hospice’s children’s care offering reach its half-year point, and we feel lucky to have worked with many amazing children and families already. In this article, we take a look at the stories of 10-year-old Ronit Gurung and 14-year-old Joseph Williams who are both supported by the Hospice.

Ronit smiling at sheep

Ronit's home visits

10-year-old Ronit Gurung and his family receive home visits from the Hospice’s team. Ronit is unable to walk or sit up by himself and can’t communicate verbally, so expresses himself using facial expressions. The team helps to get Ronit washed and dressed, provide chest physio and administer feeds and medication.

“Ronit has the most amazing smile,” said mum Roshni.  “He loves music and dancing and giggles at funny things. When you have a child with additional needs, it’s hard to get time to yourself. Thanks to the Hospice team, I can have a few hours break and don’t need to worry. I know Ronit is being looked after and loves all the activities.”

“Ronit lights up a room, he melts our hearts. We make sure he has fun with arts and crafts, songs and books. ‘Heads, shoulders knees and toes’ is a favourite! Ronit recognises us and gets excited when he sees us. It takes time to get to know each child, and we are building a lovely bond,” said Fiona Ashmore, Lead Children’s Nurse.

Joseph with teddy

After school support for Joseph

The team also provides after school support for 14-year-old Joseph Williams and his family. Joseph has DiGeorge Syndrome, a rare condition which means he is unable to walk and has learning and health difficulties.

Mum Faye said: “Joseph’s a happy boy, so playful. He’s a bundle of love and joy. The Hospice staff give him 110 per cent. He loves bath time, the more bubbles the better. It’s a relief to know I can safely leave him in their care and can get on with sorting out his feeds and medicines.”

“One of the team also comes on hospital visits and keeps Joseph calm and entertained on the journey. It’s a great help,” Joseph’s mum, Faye said.

A child playing with a toy at a table

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