Posted by eckoh at 9:40 AM on Sep 26, 2016

Christmas Gifts for Keech Hospice Kids

Eckoh got into the Christmas spirit recently by holding a Christmas jumper event to raise money and buy gifts for the children in the care of Keech Hospice.

Keech Hospice Care's children's hospice provides specialist palliative care for children with a life-limiting or terminal illness across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes.

Toys play an important part of the care for the children at Keech especially those with sensory and musical features such as, story books, jigsaws, craft items and sets and board games. Keech find 'parent and child' sets of toys extremely helpful as a support mechanism when children come in for respite and separated from their family. The child keeps the 'parent' toy and the parent takes the 'child' toy. These are usually the same soft toy, but one is larger than the other. This technique is also used to support children and grandchildren of adult patients when they have to leave the mum, dad or grandparent in the inpatient unit.

Eckoh staff rallied around to put an extra toy set on their Christmas list this year and raised £750 from their 'Christmas Jumper Fundraising Day' on the 12th December. Eckoh delivered the over 30 toys and gifts on 17th December 2014 and the money raised will go towards funding volunteer nurses.

Commenting on the fundraising, Eckoh's Chief Operating Officer, Nik Philpot said:

"As a business based in Hertfordshire we look for ways to give something back to the communities that host us. Each year, we ask our staff to nominate a worthy local cause to support around this time of year and Keech Hospice Care was a charity that has struck a profound chord with everyone in the business. Keech provides vital support for families with terminally ill children. For most of us the issues these children face on a daily basis are too painful to imagine. While we're at home celebrating the festive period with our loved ones, these children and their families are facing incredible odds.

While buying for our friends and family this year, we asked our colleagues to buy an extra present this year or to donate a sum of money to buy a gift for a child at Keech. We've had an overwhelming response and I hope our contribution helps to bring a bit joy to these incredibly brave children suffering from cruel illnesses."

Maggie Doust, Volunteer Development Manager at Keech said:

"Our aim at Keech is to help families make the most of the precious time they have left with their child. While many of the children will have only a short life, they all still have plenty of living to do. Toys, arts/craft sets, musical instruments and other sensory stimuli provided necessary therapy for the children resident here. Care is provided free-of-charge to all families that need us and as a charity we depend on the generosity of supporters like Eckoh to continue this work."