Rainbows provides a lifeline for families during Covid-19

A new care service launched by Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People to help vulnerable families in their homes in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis has been hailed a success. 

‘Home Sitting’ was launched by the charity to provide extra support to families with a child, or children, with life limiting conditions during this difficult lockdown period. 

The service enables a Rainbows Hospice Care Assistant go to a family’s home for a two to three-hour visit. They will help to relieve pressures in whatever way the family needs, whether that is supporting the child with the life-limiting condition or their siblings.

Jo Sims, Head of Family Support at Rainbows, said: “Some families are nearing crisis point because their situation has changed due to Covid-19. Services they usually access, not just at Rainbows but across the board, aren’t available any longer and they may feel isolated at home with children with increased care needs.

“Often siblings are at home too. It might be that the parents want us to play with the siblings for a while so they can spend time with their child who has the life limiting condition. Or they may want us to look after that child so they can spend time with the siblings.

“We are here to work with the family’s needs. We have helped one parent to be able to bath her child, we have played with siblings, we have done family activities and we have provided specialist care, activities and fun.”

To comply with requirements and ease concerns about infection, the Rainbows staff wear PPE and each visit is risk assessed. The Hospice Care Assistants have also undergone additional training.

One parent who has used the service said: “It’s been so nice to have a different face in the house not only for us to chat to but also for our daughter to interact with thank you so much.”

“It is a change in the type of care we provide and we were surprised at how many families took us up on it; it has grown week on week,” added Jo. “We are doing everything we can in this current challenging situation, this is just one of the ways we have adapted our services to be able to continue to be there for the families that need the specialist care and support of a hospice.”

To find out more, contact the hospice on 01509 638 000. To donate to support Rainbows, please visit rainbows.co.uk/donate