Why I am running the London marathon – visiting ‘West Hyde- Short Breaks’
Visiting West Hyde – Short Breaks to see how the charity help children with excellent respite care.
With training now in full jog I decided it was time to visit the Action for Children’s West Hyde- residential short breaks for children with disabilities and complex health needs to see all the fantastic work carried out by staff to help children enjoy daytime visits or overnight stays at the centre. The West Hyde centre provides residential short breaks supporting young people with learning disabilities and complex health needs. Young people can be referred to the centre by a social worker for after school tea visits, day care at the weekends and in school holidays and overnight stays.
On entering the centre you immediately feel the warmth of the staff and the sense of the light welcoming space with decorated wide corridors. Each child has a choice of bedrooms and there is a chart on the wall to say which children are staying, in which coloured bedroom (see photo below) and which staff will be looking after them. Great efforts have been made to make the bedrooms as homely as possible and not look like a hospital facility. Furniture from Ikea and coloured curtains make the rooms look and feel inviting.
We were shown around by the Acting Team Leader David – who has a real passion for the people and the place. He talked us through the procedures, checks and form filling that needs to done in order to maintain the safety for all the guests in his care – their wellbeing was clearly paramount.
The money raised by fundraising goes towards small extras that make a huge difference – from replacing a tired sofa or having a light box added to a room, to funding an annual trip to Butlin’s in Bognor for the children to experience a bit a time away from their parents/fulltime carers. All the time taking into consideration the complex medical challenges the children have.
The sensory room was one of the highlights of the visit – the large air conditioned room is equipped with lights, bubble tube, music light boxes and so much more for the children to enjoy.
The centre are currently adding two more bedrooms and any extra money raised will help to make all the difference to the homely touches.
I had the pleasure of visiting the centre with a lady who was also running the marathon for Action for Children and a lovely lady who would like to donate her inheritance to Action for Children and she wanted to see what difference the charity and her generous donation will one day make.
I now have 23 weeks to go before the race – eekkk! The training has been challenging due to a foot injury taking me out of running for four weeks. I am now back on plan and following Paula Radcliffe’s training schedule – and hoping that I can channel the inner Paula on the day!
Any donations however small will be gratefully appreciated.