Call for community to support 'vital' children's hospice

Eddie Farwell

Eddie Farwell, co-founder and chief executive of Children's Hospice South West. - Credit: John Bellars

The co-founder of a charity is urging people to continue to support ‘vital’ hospice care for children in the area. 

Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and chief executive Eddie Farwell says the lifeline support it offers to families is more important than ever. 

Eddie co-founded CHSW with his wife Jill 30 years ago after the exceptional care they received for their two children at the world's first children’s hospice in Oxford. 

Farwell family

The Farwell family. - Credit: Eddie Farwell

He said: “The need for children’s hospices will never go away and it has never been more vital given how much these families have had to endure during the pandemic. 

““In 1991, my wife Jill and I experienced the need to provide high quality care in a home from home setting in the South West; a place where the whole family could stay together and recharge their batteries and be more able to continue their caring role at home. 

“Thirty years later, this need is as relevant and important today as it was then.” 

In the last 30 years, CHSW has supported more than 2,000 families at its three children’s hospices - Little Bridge House in North Devon, Charlton Farm in Wraxall, and in Little Harbour Cornwall.

CHSW Care Team home visit

Children's Hospice South West's care team visiting a child at home during the pandemic. - Credit: CHSW

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Care has continued throughout the pandemic. In the first four months of 2021, the charity was able to provide 737 Covid-safe day and overnight stays in its hospices. Care teams also made 447 visits to families in their own homes, as well as more than 2,441 virtual contacts with families. 

CHSW needs around £11million a year to run its hospices, and around 85 per cent is raised through voluntary donations.  

Eddie said the charity’s work would not be possible without the continued generosity of supporters. 

He added: “It shows you what the power of people coming together can achieve; and while we are aware of the economic impact of this wretched pandemic and its long-term effects on our community, we hope people will do whatever they can to stand with us in 2021 and continue to help us make the most of short and precious lives.”