Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield was delighted to welcome representatives from Japan’s Yokohama Children’s Hospice Project and Kyushu University last Saturday. The team were here to discover more about Forget Me Not’s pioneering services as they begin to build a children’s hospice in Yokohama City and look to create another in the Kyushu region.
Hisato Tagawa, director of Yokohama Children’s Hospice Project, said: “In Japan, there are approximately 20,000 children with incurable and life-threatening conditions but there is only one free-standing children’s hospice in the whole country. This is certainly not enough and this is why we are working actively to create more. Having now been given permission to build our children’s hospice in Yokohama City, we’re visiting a hospice in Germany and Forget Me Not in the UK to learn what makes a great children’s hospice!”
Luen Thompson, chief executive of Forget Me Not, said: “Our visitors are doing just what Forget Me Not did over 20 years ago – identify a desperate need in the local community and campaign, fight and raise money to build a children’s hospice to meet that need.
They asked lots of questions about our model of care and were clearly impressed by our building, our facilities and our staff and volunteers. The fact that our high quality care is led by nurses, rather than doctors, was of particular interest.
I’m really proud that they chose Forget Me Not to visit as they take the next steps to making their hospice the best it can be. With our pioneering approach and trailblazing services, we aspire to be the leading light in children’s hospice care. It’s amazing to know that light is reaching as far as Japan!”
Forget Me Not children’s hospice supports children with life-shortening conditions and their families across West Yorkshire. It was the first children’s hospice in Europe to employ a midwife and has a unique perinatal service, supporting families facing or living with the loss of their baby. The charity receives less than 4% of the funding it needs from the government or NHS and relies on the support of the whole community to be able to deliver its vital services.