The sun shone on our supporters and beneficiaries at the official opening of the Daisy Wing, the newly extended section of The Bluebells. The ceremony was conducted by Mr Nigel Atkinson Esq, HM Lord Leiutenant of Hampshire, and John Inverdale, Honorary President of Surrey Wooden Spoon. We were also joined by the Mayor of Basingstoke, Cllr Anne Court.
Following the official opening, guests, who included many of the Trust’s supporters, volunteers and beneficiaries enjoyed afternoon tea in the sunshine. The beautiful grounds of The Bluebells, our family respite home in North Waltham provided the perfect setting.
Laura Powell, from Tongham near Farnham, sadly lost her son Ethan, aged 15, who suffered from a chromosome disorder, at the end of last year. Laura is grateful for the support she received from the Trust and the time their family spent at The Bluebells. ‘Being able to have a "normal holiday" where we could all relax and have fun made such a difference to us. Having fun in the pool together gave us an opportunity to make awesome memories with Ethan before he died. I am forever grateful for that time and the photos we have of us all together in the pool.’
A generous donation from Surrey Wooden Spoon helped make the extension to The Bluebells possible. New additions to the respite home include the Daisy Suite, a welcoming communal area which has already been used for a range of activities including a party for the families who appeared in the BBC Children in Need film about the Trust last November, coffee mornings, yoga sessions, the annual remembrance service and a fundraising quiz. There is also a new wellbeing and therapy room for parents and carers to enjoy some therapeutic relief, as well as a well-stocked advice and guidance library containing a wealth of useful information for families on a range of subjects including financial entitlements, funding options, a directory of other non-statutory services and books to help children understand what is happening to them and their siblings.
With a sensory room, arts and crafts area, swimming pool and beautiful gardens, The Bluebells is a place where families affected by life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses can create special memories to last a lifetime.