This week I would like to say a huge thank you to The Lundins, one of the families that we care for here in East Sussex. Their help has meant that we have been able to produce a film highlighting the care that we offer children and their families in their own homes.
The Lundin family have been cared for by Chestnut Tree since 2011 when they were seeking respite care for their youngest child.
Their daughter Eva was born 13 weeks early, not breathing, and spent the first 108 days of her life in hospital. She was tiny but she fought hard, she is now almost six years old and is a loving girl with Cerebral Palsy and chronic lung disease. She has come a long way since those early days, but she is still highly dependent on her mum and dad for all of her needs. She cannot walk unaided, her weak chest means she is often dependent on oxygen, she is fed by a tube and she cannot speak. Of course, she communicates in her own way, and has even learnt a few signs, but caring for her is still hugely demanding.
The family access a range of services at Chestnut Tree. A nurse visits regularly to take care of Eva whilst Jason and Mel spend some quality time together, and with Eva’s brother George.
We care for 300 children and their families across Sussex and never charge for our care. It costs well over £3.5 million every year to offer these services and less than 7% of our funding comes from central government, meaning we rely heavily on the generosity of the local community.
I know Eva’s parents are so proud of her and George, and will treasure this film forever. They have asked that you take just a minute to watch it, and if you can, share it with a friend or family member. This will help us raise awareness of the care we can provide in children’s own homes, and reach more children like Eva, who desperately need our care.
You can see Eva’s film on www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/handsup, by liking Chestnut Tree House on Facebook, or by following @HandsUpToHelp.