JESSIE May is a Bristol-based charity focused on providing specialist palliative and nursing care to children who are not expected to live beyond the age of 19. Moving beyond the effects of the pandemic, the charity has continued to support the 190 families in their care within the 2021-22 period and has now released its new Impact Report.
In the last 12 months, 1,774 specialist visits were made to children with over 1,500 taking place in their own homes, increasing the total number of visits by 600 from the previous year. Through their hard work fundraising and generating donations, Jessie May has managed to raise an impressive £1,253,840 to ensure that they can keep providing specialist care and support to children with a life-shortening condition, during the hardest moments at end of life, and further supporting their families through bereavement.
Jessie May is a charity started by a family, for families, and they are now shaped by families. They provide exceptional care and support and help to nurture relationships and friendships between families. An example of their hard work is Noah, a four-year-old boy, who has the rare condition of Primary Hyperoxaluria. Through their trips to the Dialysis Unit at Bristol Children’s hospital, Noah’s mother Becky met Hayley, the mother of four-year-old Ariana who was diagnosed with Renal Dysplasia. Together they became great friends and supported each other through any complications that arose. Noah and Ariana also became fast friends and since Jessie May came into their lives, they have attempted to synchronise their visits so that the families can spend time together and focus on their friendship.
Becky has said:
“No parent expects to go through this. When they’re pregnant I think every parent says the same thing; ‘I don’t mind what gender the baby is as long as it’s healthy’, but I don’t think much thought is given to what if the baby isn’t healthy. Without the support of Jessie May, until you’ve needed the support of Jessie May, you would never understand how much that means and what a difference it makes.”
Jessie May has made ‘family voice’ a priority over the last 12 months and has given the parents and guardians of children the opportunity to feedback on how they want their service delivered. Plus, they have included families in the top-level of the service by bringing on 2 Parent Trustees to the board.
Moving forward, Jessie May is working towards implementing a five-year strategy focusing on 6 key areas of focus:
- 24/7 End of Life support
- Children & Family Services
- Sustainable Fundraising
- Family Involvement
Tiggy Atkinson, Chair of the Board said:
“As we move forward out of the shadows of the Pandemic and start living our daily lives alongside COVID-19, it is good to take time to look back and reflect on what the last year has held for the 190 children and families we have continued to support. Here at Jessie May, we have developed our services further to ensure we can support our children and families, whilst we establish what ‘normal life’ looks like for us all.”
You can find out more about Jessie May, by visiting their website: www.jessiemay.org.uk.