Open day for young people transitioning to adult hospice care

  • 13 September 2021

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Young people and their families were welcomed to an Open Day jointly hosted by Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, last month.

The event took place in the gardens of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s Shelford-based site on a rare gloriously sunny day, on Monday 23 August.

Kristie Foreman Young Persons’ Transition Coordinator who works across all three hospices, explains the purpose of the afternoon:

“Transitioning from child to adult hospice care can be quite an anxious time for young people and their families, especially now, as we navigate the pandemic. Open Days like this – and the online version we have held previously – have been designed to make that change as seamless as possible.

We put on activities, introduce young people and their families to the adult hospice care teams and provide a much-needed opportunity to ask questions. It is also a good opportunity for us to get feedback on what else we could be doing to support families now and in the future. For example, as a result of feedback a young person has requested movie and pizza nights, which we hope to introduce in the near future.”

Young lady has a go at seated curling as family members and hospice colleagues cheer her onA young lady in a wheelchair enjoys a foot massage from one of the teams' complementary therapists, in Arthur's Shed

Miniature donkeys Tom and Ted in their temporary pen in the ARHC gardens

The arts and crafts table with a young man painting a cap, a PAT dog and staff, with colourful bunting in the foreground





Families enjoyed the colourful gardens – which were in full summer bloom – on the day and tucked into burgers and chips for lunch, followed by ice cream from Toni’s Ices.

Thanks to a grant from Sport England and the support of instructors John and Patrick from Power2Inspire, there was an opportunity to try accessible sports like seated curling, basketball and volleyball and Boccia. Diego hosted a Qigong session (Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice, working with energy and slow gentle movements) and a team from EACH manned an arts and craft table, where personally designed pictured and logos were drawn and painted onto white caps.

Relaxing head, hand or foot massages were provided by complementary therapists from the Arthur Rank Hospice and Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice teams and Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog Millie was on hand for stokes and cuddles. She was not the only animal highlight however! Miniature donkeys Tom and Ted (and their owner Marc) enjoyed meeting guests whilst basking in the sunshine and munching on hay in their mini-pen next to Arthur’s Shed (Marc resisted the hay!).

Jenna Kent, EACH Groups and Events Co-ordinator adds:

“We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the Arthur Rank Hospice. Events like these are a great opportunity for families to see the Hospice, have some fun and learn more about adult services before the time comes for the young person to transition from children’s services.”

Every one of the attendees agreed they would recommend such Open Events to other young people and their families.

It was, in the words of one family member, a “really lovely, friendly, social afternoon”.