Beads for a Worthy Cause – Courage Tea Party

Beads for a Worthy Cause – Courage Tea Party

Milton Country Park was the place to be on Friday 28th July, were local families celebrated the Beads of Courage second anniversary.

Children living with long term life-limiting conditions and their families celebrated with a tea party along with members of staff from Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.

Mags Hirst, play specialist children’s community nursing team said: “Today we are celebrating another year of success for our Long Term Beads of Courage programme.

“We are very proud that the children’s bravery and courage during their journey with life-limiting conditions can be marked with beads which can show the different treatments or procedures they have undertaken. The children use their beads in many ways to talk and share their thoughts and feelings with their families, friends and health professionals.

“We have received generous financial donations during the past year that have paid for 30 children to be enrolled onto the beads of courage programme and are currently looking for funding to carry on the programme into the next year.

“We send a huge thank you to Mark Hunter at Creative team events Ltd #events-team for the awesome drumming session he held for us at the party which was enjoyed by both children and adults.

“We also wish to send out thanks to Monkey from Monkey Wellbeing and Monkey’s mum and dad aka Helen and Daniel Sadler for coming to spend the afternoon with us and sending us some fabulous photographs and video footage of the fun and excitement.”

The event was an opportunity for the children to get together and to show their strings of beads and enjoy a fantastic cake baked and generously donated by Fay Forbes of Proper Cake.

Donna Johnson, Jessica’s mum said: “The beads keep Jessica positive and help her get through the procedures she has; she has nearly 4,000 beads, which are from the last two years since the Beads of Courage started.”

Jessica said: “Mags is really nice, I build up my beads and then Mags comes to see me with them and she also comes out with the nurse to see me.”

Also benefitting from the beads of courage is Becky Harris, Becky’s mum Katherine said: “Becky is 11 years old and has been on the programme for nearly two years. She has chronic lung disease and the beads help Becky to focus on her treatment and give people an understanding of what goes on.

“She takes her beads into school and explains what each bead means and why she got it.  She sometimes finds it difficult, such as having blood tests, so she looks at her beads and thinks I have done this before and I can do this again.

“Mags and the team are fantastic. I am always ringing Mags for advice, if we are in the hospital she comes and sees us and she regularly comes round and Becky loves her.  She is a great person to have around and so supportive.”

Matthew Winn, chief executive for the Trust thanked everyone for coming: “It is great to see so many of you and to celebrate another year of work and supporting you and the team and everything they do.  Its awe-inspiring to see what this means to the children and their families.

“There is also a celebration for the team this year, who have been put forward for some national patient and engagement developments awards and they won in two areas in the national awards and were runner up in another.  Absolutely outstanding, no other team has received near to this kind of accolade.

“Our community teams are very understated and just put their heads down and get on so winning these awards is fabulous.”

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