Respite care for children with brain injury

Charity launches appeal to deliver day and overnight breaks for disabled children across Surrey, Sussex and Kent. 

The Children’s Trust charity for children with brain injury has launched an appeal to provide vital respite to families. Short breaks can provide parents with essential ‘time out’ and give children with complex needs the chance to make new friends and take part in different activities. The charity has therefore launched The Little Break Appeal aiming to raise £100,000. The Children’s Trust has seen enquiries for its services almost treble in the last year – its respite services include short breaks, Saturday clubs and holiday clubs. However, families of children with a brain injury, who require around the clock care, are finding it increasingly difficult to find short breaks. They describe having a break, where their child’s medical needs can be met, as a crucial lifeline. Harley, a 14-year-old, has respite care for a few hours on Saturdays, a few days in the school holidays, and occasionally whole weekends. Harley had a bleed on the brain as a baby, and as a teenager he uses a wheelchair full time. He can’t speak, has seizures and he has the understanding of a child of four to six months. His mum Cheryl said: “Before we found The Children’s Trust it was non-stop, relentless, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. But with a little break, the pressure releases a bit. “It’s a lifeline to be honest. I have the dates in my calendar when Harley’s coming to The Children’s Trust, and I tell myself, ‘we’ve just got to get through this week’. “But importantly, Harley loves it too. He comes home with cakes he’s iced, plants he’s potted, dinosaurs he’s painted and a big smile.” Dalton Leong, The Children’s Trust Chief Executive said: "It should not be underestimated how important recuperation time is for families caring for disabled children who require round the clock care. “We must make this as easy as possible for them and not something they need to fight for. The Children’s Trust is determined to help these families.”
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