The Donna Louise is laughter and best friends, it’s light in the darkest hour, it’s fun and happiness, art and music, it’s real understanding – it’s so much more than you think.
When you have a child, it should be one of the most exciting times of your life. One can only imagine the heartbreak when, as a parent, you’re told that your child has a life limiting condition. No one expects to outlive their child. The fear of what lies ahead, coupled with the challenges of caring for a child or young adult with very complex needs is a strain for parents.
The Donna Louise helps children and parents through these tough times by providing a haven where parents know their child will be looked after. Whether having lots of fun and bringing families together at the purpose-built facility in Trentham, providing respite in the family home, being there during hospital stays, facilitating support groups in the community, or simply being at the end of the phone, The Donna Louise is there for families across Staffordshire and Cheshire – whenever, wherever, always. Describing their work, one mum summed it up in a nutshell
“The Donna Louise is a big security blanket, no matter what problems you have, what help and support you need, it’s here.”
The trust helps to bring families together to have fun in a supported environment and are there for extra support when times get tough.
One of the goals for The Donna Louise is understanding, for the parents, how hard it is to trust somebody else to care for their sick child when they have cared for them every day of their lives. The Donna Louise works with the parents through regular visits to give them the confidence to take a break, and just focus on themselves for a while. The nurses at The Donna Louise take away that fear.
Everyone is welcome at The Donna Louise and parents can pop in for emotional or practical advice and support.
As with any charity, The Donna Louise is funded through the kind gestures of its supporters, the public and corporates. They were very pleased to receive a £3,000 PETT (Prism Empowering Through Technology) donation which was raised at the Winter Wonderland event.
Talking about PETT, Melanie said “By having the support of organisations such as PETT we are able to support the important work of a children’s nurse for an entire month at The Donna Louise, giving children loving and sensitive care and allowing parents to spend precious time with their ill child safe in the knowledge they are well cared for by someone that knows them and their needs.”
Which for parents means a much needed helping hand, and as one parent said “I don’t know where I would be without The Donna Louise – I’d be lost. I’m so thankful to the generous supporters who help keep The Donna Louise open.”
Following a visit to The Donna Louise, PETT’s Co-ordinator Kath said “The Donna Louise is a fantastic place, full of light, colour and happiness. The support and facilities they offer to families during the happy and no so happy times is exceptional.”
If you would like to support The Donna Louise or find out more, please visit www.thedonnalouise.org
If you would like to find out more about PETT and how you can apply for a charitable donation, please visit www.pett.uk.com