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A CALL to sustain a vital lifeline for sick children has been answered by Sarah White Aesthetics as the business takes a lead in supporting Claire House children’s hospice at a major fundraising event.
 
Sarah White and her team at the facial aesthetics clinic, based at Wirral Spire Murrayfield Hospital, are helping to put the spotlight on the urgent need of funding for the hospice by acting a major sponsor of the One Chance Claire House Charity Ball this autumn.
Sarah, a registered sick children’s nurse with a 15-year career working in paediatrics throughout the North West, said: “Everyone knows about the amazing work done at Claire House and its lifeline of support not only for dying children but their families too throughout the toughest of times.
 
“But not everyone knows that the hospice can no longer cope with the demand for its services with more children than ever before in need of help.
 
“Supporting this huge fundraising campaign is a way of us getting the message out there - that no family should struggle to get the help they desperately need.”
 
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The One Chance Claire House Charity Ball - so called because when a child is dying, their family only gets one chance to get their care right - is being held in the walled garden marquee at Thornton Manor on Friday, October 4.
 
Among the highlights of the evening will be an exclusive performance by singing star Rebecca Ferguson while hosting the event will be TV chef Simon Rimmer along with a guest appearance by Radio City’s Leanne Campbell.
 
The urgent need for funding by the Wirral hospice has been caused by a dramatic surge in the number of families seeking its services – in six years the number of children coming to Claire House has increased by 84 per cent.
 
Jessica Campbell, partnerships manager at the hospice, explained: “Recognising there were many more children it needed to reach throughout Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales, the hospice set out six years ago to achieve an organisational dream of reaching every dying child.
 
“This involved a complete restructure of the care team and significant investment into services both in the hospice and outreach in the community, with strong collaborative partnerships built with Alder Hey critical care teams and Liverpool Women’s Hospital perinatal and neonatal services.
 
“However, the outcome has resulted in Claire House seeing an 84 per cent increase in the number of children and families using our hospice services and a rise of 186 per cent in our bereaved caseload during the same time period. The number of perinatal and neonatal referrals has seen the biggest increase, with the majority of referrals now in the age range of up to four years.
 
“The hospice continues to be magnificently supported by the local community and our fundraising is growing. However, the sheer increase in the number of families using Claire House in such a short time frame - combined with children’s and young people’s increasingly complex medical health needs - means we are now struggling to cope with the demand.”
 
Jessica added: “With support from organisations like Sarah White Aesthetics, we are confident that we can fulfil our mission to give seriously and terminally ill children a chance to live life to the full and allow their families to make memories that will last a lifetime.”