Frequently Asked Questions
How many children do you help?
At the moment there are 88 Snowdrop children who have a life threatening illness. The area we cover is from east of Emsworth up to the Surrey/Sussex border, Camelsdale - Midhurst - Petworth etc. to Arundel including Walberton, Tangmere, Westergate, Chichester plus all along the coast including the west of Littlehampton, Bognor and Selsey.
What do they have wrong with them?
Any life-threatening illness such as Cancer, Leukaemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Aplastic Anaemia, heart, lung, liver and kidney problems, Batten's Disease, Duchene's Distrophy, Muscular Dystrophy and Sclerosis, Rhett'sSyndrome and many other illnesses - some that are very rare. Sometimes a diagnosis cannot be given as the condition is so complex. The criteria is set down by the NHS/PCT Consultant Community Paediatrician who is based in Chichester - Dr Ann Wallace.
Who refers them to Snowdrop?
When a child is unwell and is taken to their GP -if theGP believes that there is a serious problem with the child's health, they are then sent to the local hospital where they are seen by a Consultant Paediatrician. Dr Ann Wallace, who heads the Snowdrop Care at Home Team, is then told about this child. If the child has a life- threatening illness she will talk to the Senior Snowdrop Nurse. The family are then contacted and visited by one of the Snowdrop Nurses. This is usually in their home but sometimes they will visit them in hospital.
Do the children helped by Snowdrop use the children's Hospice?
Rarely. The Sussex Snowdrop Trust was set up to provide care for children when they are at home. It is a fact that most children spend most of their lives at home. They have to go to hospital for treatment, operations and outpatient appointments, but then they go to school as much as possible and are at home afterwards. They want to be with their friends, talking about football, celebrities, T.V programmes etc, in fact they are just normal children who have an illness. Children improve when they are at home. Since Snowdrop was founded, more terminally ill children have been able to choose to be at home when they died. This is what the children and their parents want. The Snowdrop Nurses, Counsellors and Dr Ann Wallace are all involved in this end-of-life care and give families the 24 hours a day support they need at this very difficult time. After a child dies the Team can continue to support the family, until no longer needed.
What do the Nurses do?
They talk to parents about their child's illness and answer any questions that they come up with. They take bloods and samples from the child, it saves them having to go into hospital for this to be done. They can put the parents in touch with other professionals if necessary, e.g. social workers, physiotherapists, school teachers etc. They keep in daily contact with parents throughout the acute phase of their child's illness. Parents have the Nurses mobile numbers and can speak to them whenever they need to. When a child is in remission the Team continue to keep in contact with them.
How many Nurses are there?
There are 6 Nurses working on the Team and a Counsellor.
What financial help does the Charity give?
Snowdrop can pay for anything that will help families. The Snowdrop Team put in the request to the Chairman of the Charity and then this request is acted upon as quickly as possible. The charity has bought.......
Cookers, tumble dryers, fridges, fridge/freezers, carpets, computers, to help children who are in hospital/home and missing school, others that are struggling with their work. Paid for taxis to take children (parents can sometimes drive hundreds of miles taking their child for treatment) Helped with living expenses, even for food when their finances have been stretched.
The Charity can help with anything that will make a difference
Where does all this money come from?
Mostly from this community..
From groups, clubs, individuals, people who understand what a vital service and support is needed for families who are living with the day-to-day problems and fears of having a child with a life-threatening illness.
Is there another Snowdrop Trust?
No. It is unique. Founded just for local children. It cannot expand to other areas. There are some other Community Outreach Teams in the country, but not nearly enough. None of the others provide the urgent financial help that Snowdrop does.