Your local hospice charity for children and young adults, launches its virtual version of its much loved annual Santa Fun Run. The festive event traditionally sees hundreds of Santas running through the streets of Winchester, but due to the pandemic and the latest lockdown restrictions, this can no longer take place. But Christmas is never cancelled at Naomi House & Jacksplace and this year, participants are being encouraged to take part virtually in their local areas, keeping within Government guidelines.
Santas of any age can join in the festive fun, they just need to gather their household team, choose a location and a date sometime in December.
Once registered, they will be sent a jolly red Santa suit, complete with fluffy white beard. Participants can walk, skip, jump or dance along their 5k route and if they raise a minimum of £25 towards the work of Naomi House & Jacksplace, the charity will present them with a medal to celebrate their achievement.
Participants will be supporting Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices at a time when the charity’s fundraising has been severely affected by the pandemic. Their charity shops have been forced to close and the majority of fundraising events cancelled.
Despite the new lockdown measures, Naomi House & Jacksplace will remain open, staffed 24 hours a day, for families who are struggling, including those who need expert care in an emergency, following a hospital stay or at the end of a child’s life.
In these challenging times, the charity needs support now more than ever. Charlotte Patrick, Events Fundraiser at Naomi House & Jacksplace said: ‘Although we’re really disappointed that our normal event can’t take place in Winchester, we’re so excited to be able to encourage people to join in the fun in their local areas. This event is for all ages and we can’t wait to see the photos of everyone dressed up in their Santa suits – mums, dads, children, grandparents, work colleagues. Even though everyone has to be mindful of government guidelines due to the pandemic, they can still have loads of fun and laughs, whilst supporting local children and young adults with serious illnesses.’
Naomi House & Jacksplace provide respite, emergency and end of life care to life-limited children and young people across the central south of England.
Naomi House nursing and medical staff provide individualised nursing care that helps to enhance short lives and allows 520 local families to make the most of their precious time with their children. There are 11 children’s bedrooms and a number of family bedrooms at the newly refurbished Naomi House. Additionally, the state of the art building includes spaces for music therapy, art and messy play, a multi-sensory room, a hydrotherapy pool and dedicated spaces for end of life care and post-bereavement support.
Naomi House has an experienced family support team offering practical, emotional and spiritual support for the whole family, throughout their child’s life and after death. Inevitably there are some sad times at Naomi House. On these occasions, Naomi House offers The Butterfly Bedroom; a chilled room in which a child can be laid to rest in the immediate post-death period, and until such time as the family are ready to say their goodbyes. The charity’s teams helps with funeral arrangements and other such practicalities. Specialist bereavement counsellors, sibling support staff and the hospice Chaplain offer support to families for as long as they are needed.
Many of the children cared for at Naomi House are living longer thanks to advances in medical technology and care. This is why Naomi House opened Jacksplace, a new hospice for teenagers and young people aged 16 and up. Jacksplace has six bedrooms equipped with specialist beds, hoists and state of the art en-suite bathrooms. Jacksplace offers the same range of care and support available at Naomi House, including family support, an activity team, end of life care and post bereavement support.
Naomi House needs to raise £9.2 million each year in order to run a full service and deliver its plans. The charity receives less than 11% of its income from statutory sources, meaning that the vast majority of the charity’s income comes from the generous donations of individuals, groups and companies. It is this dedicated fundraising that allows the hospices to continue to offer their services to families free of charge.
To register for the virtual Santa Fun Run and take part in the festive fun, click here