Organisation:LauraLynn, Ireland's Children's HospiceCategory:Large OrganisationsCharity Reg no. :RCN 2015 48441. Tell us about the issue(s) this organisation is tackling and why it's important
2. How does your organisation go about tackling these issues?
- Why was the organisation set up? What is it trying to change or do? Why is it important to do this? There are over 3,800 children in Ireland living with a life-limiting condition. More than 1,900 of these children have palliative care needs and up to 720 are at any one time are classed as unstable, deteriorating or at end-of-life and in immediate need of hospice care. LauraLynn is the only Children’s Hospice in the Republic of Ireland. We provide essential support to families at the toughest of times. All services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each family unit, from the point of diagnosis to end of life and throughout bereavement; and are focused on enhancing the quality of life of the child and all the family who are often under immense physical, emotional and financial pressure.
3. Tell us about a case where the organisation has made a positive difference.
- Explain your organisation's approach to solving the issues you identified in your previous answer. If it has had to adapt its activities in response to COVID-19, how did it do this? At LauraLynn we understand that the whole family is affected when there is a life-limited child within the household, and so the whole family needs care and support. Each child and family is given unique care plan which outlines the particular services and supports that are most relevant to their needs Depending on the care needs of the child. As a response to the Covid pandemic, LauraLynn launched the first Virtual Children’s Hospice in Ireland, providing care and supports to families cocooning in their homes. LauraLynn remained open throughout the crisis providing crisis and end of life care for children and their families. We can’t give these children and families more time, but we can give them more time together, having fun and making memories.
4. What has the overall impact of this work been and how do you measure it?
- This is your chance to talk about impact in qualitative terms. Provide a case study to illustrate the impact of the organisation’s work. We will accept anonymous case studies if you need to protect the identity of a service user or individuals under 18 years of age. You can include a quote or endorsement if you wish.Harrison’s Story. LauraLynn works collaboratively with the acute hospital setting and throughout the Covid Pandemic we were in a position to offer families more space and home comforts during difficult times in their child’s journey. Hospitals had restrictions in place meaning it wasn’t always possible for both parents to be together with their child which was particularly difficult at end-of-life or post birth, but at LauraLynn all of our rooms have access to our gardens and with more space to cocoon families in our family accommodation, we could facilitate a home from home environment. Elizabeth and James Dunne are one couple who came to LauraLynn in November 2019 and stayed for a few months with their baby Harrison. From New Zealand, the couple found themselves in Ireland with their newborn who was born with a life-limiting condition and getting back home to New Zealand proved difficult due to the pandemic and also Harrison’s unstable condition. Harrison’s mum, Elizabeth decribes how she felt when they came to LauraLynn; "Just a sense of hope, a home environment. Sitting on a couch together while holding our son, it was a sense of release. In the hospital with Covid, it’s one parent at a time and we were just craving a family experience so LauraLynn was the first time we got to experience that.’’ We support from a team in Temple Street, specialised from New Zealand and LauraLynn, baby Harrison returned home to New Zealand with his parents in April 2021.
5. What makes your organisation special?
- How would you describe the overall impact of your organisation’s work? What measures do you use to know if you have been successful at achieving your goals? How do you know what to improve or change in your work? Please include as much evidence as possible to demonstrate your impact. Since opening in September 2011, LauraLynn Children’s Hospice has provided close to 450,000 hours of respite care, crisis care and end-of-life care to more than 520 children with life-limiting conditions and their families. Each of these families has received specialist hospice care and support from LauraLynn in the toughest of times and has had the opportunity to make precious memories that will last a lifetime. In 2020 LauraLynn cared for 212 children with their families - 62 of whom for more than 4 years - while 179 families received bereavement support. Despite restrictions 23,376 hours of direct care was provided in the hospice, 40% of which was crisis care. 94 Individual and group music therapy sessions and 31 Symptom Management assessments were done.
6. How can the public support your work?
- What is the organisation’s unique selling-point? What makes the organisation different from others working in the same field/area?Many people think that a children’s hospice is all about end-of-life care but LauraLynn offers much more than that. When a child is accepted to LauraLynn the whole family will be embraced and supported through their unique care plan. We are deeply committed to each child and family and as their needs change, we provide continue to provide a compassionate approach to tailored, expert care in a home from home setting or in their family home. Through our caring and compassionate team, families are enabled to be happy together even on some of saddest days. LauraLynn Children’s Hospice focuses on making the most of short and precious lives and creating memories to last a lifetime. All of this would not be possible without the support of our volunteers, donors, the local community and partners.
7. Describe how your organisation is transparent and accountable
- Do you need volunteers? Do you fundraise? Can the public share your story? Give them a call to action.LauraLynn must raise 67% operational costs of the hospice service, plus the cost of research and support services, each year through fundraising. This year our target is €5.5 million. There are many ways that you can help us reach our annual target: Make donation online, by phone or in person; become a monthly donor by setting up a Direct Debit on our website; Fundraise for us – why not take part in one of our many events or even organise your own! Learn more about how you can help: https://lauralynn.ie
- For example, do you publish your annual accounts online? Are you compliant with the Charities Regulator's Charities Governance Code? Do you use the Charities Regulator’s Fundraising Principles?LauraLynn is registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority & supports the implementation of the Charities Act 2009. We are fully compliant with the HSE Annual Compliance Statement & the Charities Regulator’s Governance Code. We are committed to all ICTR fundraising regulations and issue financial statements under Standard of Recommended Practice (SORP), which operates to the triple lock standards of transparent reporting, good fundraising and good governance. We have an independent voluntary Board that is ultimately responsible for governance, strategic direction, ethos and values. The Board also holds responsibility for ensuring that the organisation operates an appropriate system of financial control and complies with relevant laws and regulations.