With more than 300 families to support remotely, staff at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice were delighted when a hugely welcome batch of electronic tablets arrived from the Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons group.
The 17 donated tablets, worth around £200 each, are already being put to good use and staff are now exploring ways of organising other virtual support, such as wellbeing groups for hospice parents and carers.
Video calls enable them to check in on young patients in isolation, organise music therapy sessions remotely, and keep in contact with parents and siblings who receive counseling.
Susan Wood, the hospice’s director of care, said: “We’d like to thank the Freemasons so much for thinking of Bluebell Wood.
“Our staff have had to face many challenges in making sure that every child and family we support still receive the best possible care during the pandemic.
“Families need us now more than ever, which is why we’re working incredibly hard to deliver our life-changing services in different ways, to ease pressure on the NHS and support children with life-threatening and life-shortening conditions during these unprecedented times.
“The Freemasons’ generous gift will make our contact with families in care so much easier.”
The 17 tablets will be used by families at the hospice as soon as services can return to normal.
Freemason Mike Holmes delivered them to the hospice.
He said: “The staff who greeted me at Bluebell Wood – from a safe distance of course – were absolutely over the moon to receive our donation.
“It was a very heartwarming feeling to know that we were making a difference in these very difficult times.
“We know the hospice will make really good use of them.”
The Masonic Charitable Foundation, which has its origins in one of the oldest charities in the world, has now gifted a total of 1,200 devices to more than 50 hospitals, care homes and hospices.