Like most local parents, Fiona and John Devine did not realise that there is no local children’s hospice in Berkshire – until their son, Alexander, was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was four years old. Sadly Alexander lost his battle when he was just eight, but, inspired by his courage and determination, they set out to provide specialist palliative care for other children.
Alexander’s story is not one that the family expected to tell, nor one that any parent would ever want to have to tell, however they understand that some stories, however painful should be told, because they can make a difference. In 2007 they founded Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, a local charity which for the past four years has provided the Alexander’s Care Team, delivering palliative care, respite and support to children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions in their own homes.
In November 2013 they launched the capital campaign to raise £5m to build a truly local children’s hospice so that families can access the care and support they need within their local community. So far £3.3m has been raised, preparation work is underway and building will begin this year.
Fiona Devine says “our home from home will be a place of love and laughter, a special place to make special memories. It’s about children being children, in a safe environment; a place where parents feel they can safely be with their children, a secure, safe, loving environment, where no judgements are made. Even very sick children enjoy having an exciting, stimulating place to play and laugh with their brothers, and sisters, friends and family.”
“Cameron absolutely adores his Alexander’s Carer, she is so lovely, thoughtful and caring. I know he’s safe with her and I trust her. It means I can spend time with Cameron’s brother and sister too. It would be so nice to be able to drop Cameron off at a local children’s hospice for a few hours at first, to build up to him staying longer so we could take Cameron’s brother and sister out for a day and give them some time, it’s just a shame it isn’t built yet. His older sister doesn’t have any friends who know what she’s going through, it’s hard for her, she worries about Cameron and she’s having to grow up really fast. At the children’s hospice there would be lots of other children there who would understand” Charlotte from Newbury
How to Donate
We need your help to raise the rest of the funds needed to build this much needed local hospice for children. Please click here for the various ways to donate.
Thank you. Together we are making a huge difference to the lives of local children suffering from life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
Built by our community, within our community, to care for our community