The February monthly meeting will take place in the Wedmore Masonic Hall, at 7.30pm. The speaker will be Kylie Gallagher and her talk will be titled ‘Children’s Hospice South West.’ Members free. Visitors £3, with free tea/coffee and biscuits afterwards. Contact: Ian Tomes, 01934 710390
Report of February Isle of Wedmore Society Meeting The society had a talk from Kylie Gallagher from Children’s Hospice South West. The charity was established in 1991 by a couple who had two children who died, both of whom had lifelimiting conditions. In 1995 the charity established its first hospice in Barnstaple and 12 years later opened its second hospice at Charlton Farm, part of the Tyntesfield Estate, in Wraxall North Somerset. It has now opened its third Hospice near St Austell in Cornwall. The Charlton Farm site is set in 100 acres with a wide range of animals reflecting its farming origins. The Children’s Hospice is not just about providing end of life care for children with life-limiting conditions and bereavement support for families. About 80% of the stays in the 8-bedroom facility are family stays where whole families can stay to provide respite care or holidays for parents and siblings while staff and volunteers look after the affected child. Without this facility many families with children suffering from life-limiting conditions would not be able to have any sort of holiday or break. Charlton Farm has lots of different facilities to keep families entertained such as soft play, messy play, a music room and jacuzzi/hydrotherapy pool. There are communal facilities including a large dining room and large lounge where many families meet and make new friends. There are also quiet areas where individuals can relax, reflect and enjoy the surrounding environment. All of these facilities and stays are provided at no cost to families who use them. All of these facilities clearly cost a lot of money to run and maintain with Charlton Farm having an annual budget of about £3.5 million. Most of this money is raised by charitable donations, fundraising events and legacies. Only about 14% of its funding is provided by the government.