Helping Northwood Children's Hospice

Since doing the electrical refit of the Northwood Children's Hospice and Edu-Centre, these little ones have crept into the hearts of Haslop & Mason staff. Which is why the company has become a long-term supporter of the holistic care this non-profit organisation provides.

According to Northwood director Maureen Lamb, the organisation has four main arms:

  • Northwood Hospice Care, which provides grief counselling, training workshops and psycho-social support to families of children with life-threatening illnesses.
  • Northwood Edu-Centre, which offers family support and spiritual care, as well as school sponsorships, music therapy, and speech and occupational therapy where needed.
  • Northwood Special Needs Unit, which offers specialised education support for children with special needs.
  • Northwood Tertiary Education, a special programme of education and training for single family breadwinners.

"But the primary focus of the organisation is to provide a service of clinically based, holistic care for referred vulnerable children," says Lamb.

"This care includes and insists upon the education of every child we support," she says, explaining that without education, children cannot make informed choices or access the opportunities available to them.

"From our early beginnings Kevin and his staff have always helped us in small yet meaningful ways, but the gift of education has become a wonderful inspiration to them and they are striving - like ourselves - to ensure that every child in our care has the opportunity to learn and to grow."

Haslop & Mason identified Northwood as an organisation in dire need of support, says H&M managing member Kevin Dersley, who also brings his business acumen to the table as a member of the board of Northwood.

"One of our fundamental long-term goals is building a hospice - a building which includes both a hospital and spiritual care for children and parents," says Dersley.

"Until then, we try to support the amazing work they do through fundraising and financial support."

But, he says, the organisation's needs are so wide-ranging that one company's input is but a drop in the ocean and much more support is required to achieve the long-term vision.

"Many of these children come from communities where families live below the poverty line. During the school term, they come to the centre for supportive palliative care and to get a well-balanced meal - because medication without nutrition is not effective.

"One of the things Haslop & Mason does is our annual peanut butter collection. Our team collects peanut butter to add to food parcels, which we send home with the children during the holiday break to maintain their nutritional levels."

Dersley says his team collected over a hundred jars over the past year alone.

"We also provide bursary support for social work students who use Northwood as their work placement and assist with school fees for the kids, so that the organisation can allocate the minimal funding that it does receive to other more pressing daily needs."

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