What the work of EACH, raising £10m to build a new hospice called the nook, means to one Norfolk family “As a family we would find it very difficult providing the constant care Matilda needs without some sort of a break”
EAST ANGLIA’S Children’s Hospices (EACH) needs to raise £10 million through its nook appeal, to transform children’s palliative care in Norfolk.
One family who understand the difference that the nook will make are Bella and Matt Moxon and daughters, Maisie, aged 15 and Matilda, aged 13. The whole Moxon family, who live in Plumstead, have been using services at the current EACH hospice at Quidenham since Matilda was four years old.
Matilda has mitochondrial cytopathy complex one and four. This means that her body does not have the energy required to develop properly so she requires 24 hour care to help with all her everyday needs. Matilda is unable to talk, or walk, she is unable to support her own weight and cannot feed herself. She also has daily seizures which are controlled with medication.
Matilda goes to Quidenham for overnight short break care; her sister Maisie attends sibling groups and the family attend EACH events and days out both at the hospice and in the community.
Bella Moxon, Matilda’s mum, explained: “When we drop Matilda off for her stay we are confident that she will be well cared for and thoroughly enjoy her time there for her break.
“We have always felt so relaxed using the services EACH provides, even from our very first night when we all stayed together as a family; it felt very much like staying at someone’s home – Maisie still talks about our first stay there fondly.
“Matilda’s stays at EACH are so important to us as they enable us to have time with Maisie where we can focus on her and also some time to ourselves. As a family we would find it very difficult providing the constant care Matilda needs without some sort of a break. Now she is older it becomes increasingly difficult to ask family members to help – EACH is a lifeline to us. We also have the added support of being able to talk to any of the staff at EACH if we need to.”
The charity has outgrown its hospice at Quidenham which restricts the care they are able to offer to families. EACH has over £5.5 million towards a new purpose-built hospice for local families with children and young people with a life-threatening condition.
Jane Campbell, EACH service manager said: “At Quidenham we face constraints every day. Due to lack of space, I have had to convert the nurses’ station to an office for the physio and occupational therapist and am currently planning the conversion of one of the bedrooms to an office for the symptom management team, a decision I have not taken lightly but one that is required to ensure professional and confidential delivery of care. Until we have more room at the nook, I continue to have to juggle rooms and decide what services we can offer.
“The new hospice is not simply about in-house care or bedrooms and play. We will be able to offer families improved facilities including residential accommodation, confidential counselling rooms, a hydrotherapy pool and large music and art studios. It will also provide us with the necessary hub for the delivery of services from a diverse staff team. This includes our increasingly popular child support, parents and bereavement groups, which currently take place off-site at a cost and with considerable planning.”
Matilda enjoys some sensory playtime