KissyPuppy donates £15,000 to fund hospice’s work with schools

KissyPuppy donates £15,000 to fund hospice’s work with schools

Earl Mountbatten Hospice has received a £15,000 donation from the KissyPuppy charity, in support of its work with Island schoolchildren.

The money will fund the Hospice’s ‘Schools’ Project’, an initiative which has proved to be hugely successful among pupils across the Island. The project involves staff and patients working with the children for a six week period, to educate them about the Hospice and change their perceptions of what they may feel a hospice is all about.

Gemma Blamire, of KissyPuppy, presented the cheque to hospice staff and schoolchildren from Wootton Primary, during the final day of their project. “This money will enable the Schools’ Project to continue for at least another year,” she said. “It is a real pleasure to support the Hospice in this way as the project is such a brilliant thing for children to get involved in. It allows them to get a real insight into what the Hospice is really like, and working and getting to know patients transforms their views. It makes it a less scary place.”
Staff involved in the project said the donation was an amazing gesture and would help the Hospice to reach even more Island children over the next 12 months.

“We are, as always, immensely touched by the generosity and support shown to us by all at KissyPuppy,” said Kate Mansbridge, one of the project coordinators. “This is a very important project which will now continue for another year. We are sure that all the children, teachers and parents who have already been involved will agree that it’s a worthwhile initiative; it’s great that so many more children will now also benefit.”

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Our Story – The Sophie Rolf Trust – Registered Charity 1156155

www.justgiving.com/Sophie-Rolf-Kissypuppy

Sophie Rolf was a beautiful, happy, larger than life little girl. She enjoyed doing all things little girls love, especially her swimming and dance classes. Sophie started school in September 2011, joining her big brother Jack at St Saviours Primary School in Totland on the Isle of Wight.

During May 2012 we noticed a tremor in Sophie’s left arm and, after numerous hospital visits and finally an MRI scan in June, we received the terrible news that no parent wants to hear – Sophie had a ‘Supratentorial high grade Glioma, bilateral thalamic tumour’. This is an aggressive brain tumour located in a very awkward part of the brain. We were told that the tumour was inoperable and the prognosis poor.

Sophie faced things that no child or adult should have to go through. Neuro surgery to fit shunts, central line surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, a trial drug, numerous MRI & CT scans, homeopathic drugs and other tests were all met with determination, strength, courage and most of all always a smile. She made us so proud to call her our daughter. As a family we never gave up hope and actively pursued other medical opinions from Europe and the rest of the world – however each reply reinforced the original diagnosis.

Sadly Sophie lost her fight in November 2013 at home alongside her family that adored her so much. She didn’t suffer and as always, she decided when the time was right.

‘KissyPuppy’ was originally set up to enable friends and family to fund raise for Sophie and initially was used to support Sophie’s journey through this including travelling to and from appointments on the mainland, any equipment needed and creating magical experiences and memories. We chose the name ‘KissyPuppy’ as this was a word Sophie used for a very special sort of cuddle and kiss reserved only for her big brother Jack.

What this devastating process highlighted to us as a family was the limited healthcare options available for children with life shortening conditions on the Isle of Wight. There is no specialist children’s hospice on the Isle of Wight. Families are offered the option of travelling to Winchester for respite or end of life care, which is a three hour journey each way, relying on Ferries. Travelling to the mainland at the point when Sophie was very poorly is something we did not want to be thinking about.

The Earl Mountbatten Hospice provides comprehensive end-of-life healthcare for the Isle of Wight community. They support and care for adults living with and dying from a life-shortening illness and, working in partnership with the local NHS, they are extending these services to children.

Sophie said early on in her treatment that she wanted to help other children as they have helped her………so that is what we have pledged to do. We have joined forces with the Earl Mountbatten Hospice and the local NHS to help support and develop services on the Island for children and young people, and their families, with life shortening conditions. Over a period of time a range of services will be developed offering flexible, individualised care and support, in the place of choice, built around the unique needs of each family. Services will be coordinated centrally, and delivered by a multi-professional team, working together with each family to support their wishes and care choices.

Sophie’s first project was to provide an area within the existing hospice building that will be suitable for use by children and their families. The area was to provide the equipment needed to fulfil the medical requirements of the individual whilst at the same time recognise the needs of the family as a whole.

From day one Sophie was an inspiration to all. She never once complained or grumbled about what she was going through. She greeted each and every day with a smile and her attitude and spirit made her fundraising such a success that within a few months she had raised the £10,000 target set for the first project.

At the beginning of November 2013 Sophie, just a few weeks before she passed away, opened the children’s rooms at Earl Mountbatten Hospice, a massive achievement of which we are so proud of her for.

Sophie had already started on her next project, a Playground, within the grounds of the Hospice. In her short life, Sophie has changed Children’s services here on the Island.

We, as Sophie’s family, recognise there is so much more to be done. Kissypuppy ‘The Sophie Rolf Trust’ is now a registered charity. We are committed to helping the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, local NHS and other interested parties in the continued development of services for children and their families with life shortening illnesses on the Isle of Wight. We hope we can continue Sophie’s good work and make a legacy she would be proud of.

You can donate to this amazing cause via the KissyPuppy – Just Giving page online by clicking on this link.

www.justgiving.com/Sophie-Rolf-Kissypuppy

Donations are very much appreciated and we thank you for your continued support.

If you wish to organise your own fundraising event you can use this just Giving page to set up your own page

https://www.justgiving.com/sophierolftrust/

or by sending cheques payable to Sophie Rolf to

KissyPuppy

2D, The Boathouse

Hurst Point View

Totland

Isle of Wight

PO39 0AW