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Open day at the Shooting Star Hospice

Open day at the Shooting Star Hospice

Shooting Star House

Shooting Star House

The Shooting Star House hospice in Hampton has such a huge presence in our local community, with a charity shop on Hampton Hill High Street, and regular fundraising activities taking place throughout the year.

So the recent open day was a great opportunity to go along and find out more about the charity, and see some of the amazing facilities that local fundraising has helped provide.

Family care

Shooting Star House is a large, modern building with curved walls, big windows and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Along with St Christopher’s hospice in Guildford, it supports over 650 families. Not all stay in the hospice, many come in to use its facilities or are supported by staff at home.

The charity cares for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families. Roughly eighty per cent of the children have a genetic condition, and 20 per cent have some form of cancer (the hospice is linked with the Royal Marsden Hospital in central London).

Shooting Star House

The hospice has a wonderful family-welcoming atmosphere, with six large, comfortable rooms for families of the children and young people in its care to stay in. There are also therapy rooms, including a music room and an arts and crafts room, which can also be used by the children’s siblings.

Colourful artwork, photos and poems cover the walls, which not only look great, but also reflect the open, honest and supportive atmosphere of the hospice.

Amazing facilities

The Sensory Room is one of the best rooms ever, with a psychedelic carpet, a bed that vibrates in time with the music (Abba) pumping of the sound system, huge bean bags, and fluorescent bubbling glass tubes with plastic fish in them. This room is perfect for a party � and is often used for them.

Sensory Room

The Hydrotherapy Pool is also amazing. The water in the pool and spa tub is set to a perfect warm-bath temperature, again with a great sound system (Katy Perry this time), disco lights and an amazing floating mattress that seemed to be made out of balls.

The eight bedrooms are as bright, welcoming and cheerful as you would expect after seeing the rest of the hospice. Each room is made up especially for the person who will be staying in it, so teenagers may find a stereo and posters on the wall, while a younger child could be welcomed with a Peppa Pig bedspread and Cbeebies on the TV. All of the bedrooms have hoists, hydraulic beds, and sofa beds for family members.

Teenage time

The hospice has a central dining area, where families and staff can come together and enjoy home-cooked meals. It is also great for holding parties and group events. Teenagers can find time for themselves in the Chill Zone, a room set aside for senior school-age kids (including siblings) with computers, games and a football table.

Sparkle Day Care is a beautiful light, airy room that looks like any other nursery setting and follows a multi-sensory curriculum. Scrap books made to document the children’s progress show what kinds of activities they get up to, including outings and playing with a Pat Dog, who makes regular visits with its handler for cuddles and strokes from the children.

The hospice also specialises in end of life care. It has a Tranquil Suite, where young people can lie after their death, allowing their bereaved family to grieve in their own way. The suite includes a Peaceful Garden, a memory tree, multi-faith prayer room, lounge and bedroom.

Support groups

Supporting the families of the young people in its care is hugely important at the hospice. Regular grandparent days and sibling groups are held here, while youth groups take place once a month. There is also the Little Sparklers group, where looked-after children under the age of five come in with parents and siblings every fortnight to get together and use the facilities, including the Sensory Room, Hydrotherapy Room and the amazing sensory gardens and outdoor play area.

The Shooting Star Hospice is a wonderful place that not only cares for young people with life limiting illnesses, but also brings comfort, strength and support to their families. However all of this comes at a cost: the Shooting Star Chase charity, which runs the Hampton hospice and St Christopher’s Hospice in Guildford, employs over 100 care staff, including specialised nurses, doctors, social workers, counsellors and education co-ordinators. All of this, plus the running costs, mean the charity has to find £9 million pounds a year to keep going – that’s £26,000 per day!

Want to help?

Only around 10 per cent of its income comes from government funding. The rest is raised by the hard work of volunteers and staff, and the generosity of supporters, including local communities like Hampton Hill.

If you want to make a difference to our fantastic local charity, either by fundraising or volunteering, then visit their website or drop into our local Shooting Star Chase charity shop on the High Street and ask about how you can help.