Lawyers support care for severely disabled children in Gloucestershire

Respite and nursing care for children who have life-limiting medical conditions at the James Hopkins Trust in Gloucester has been given a £2,820 boost by lawyers Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ charitable foundation.

The donation, which will pay for a year’s respite care for a child, will mean that a family can rely on having a break from caring for their child around the clock; Ria Heap, the charity’s community and events manager, said: “It is so important for parents to have a break; to spend time with their other children, to see friends or even just to do the shopping. They know that their child is safe and happy and well-cared for; the children love coming here.”

The Trust, based at Kites Corner, was set up by the Hopkins family after they lost their son James at 20 months old; they had found respite care was very limited, and began to raise money to help other families.

Ria said: “We have 45 nurses, all of whom are trained to work with children with a very wide range of difficulties, and 40 volunteers – this is an incredibly positive place and the children love it.

“We are so grateful for the donation; it will mean that a family knows that they can rely on us for help.”

The Trust runs a day nursery as well as offering overnight care; children up to the age of six come from across Gloucestershire for care, and nurses also go to families’ homes to provide care where necessary.

One little girl, born with microcephaly and evolving cerebral palsy, would only initially sleep in her parents’ arms – she started coming to the Trust when she was two, and now sometimes stays overnight quite happily; the care provided by the Trust’s nurses supported the family as well as helping them to develop their own care for their daughter.

Dawn Oliver of the HCR Charitable Foundation, said: “The Trust is doing invaluable work, supporting families to cope with a very demanding situation – I’m delighted that we’re able to help them.”