Dwina Gibb supporting the children’s Hospice

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14/10/2012  

The children’s hospice is celebrating 5 years of care for local children on the Isle of Man and is delighted to be launching a fun and innovative project of “The Rebecca House” calendar for 2013.

Prior Rebecca House opening children that required the specialist paediatric palliative care on the Island needed to go off island to Liverpool; this journey adding more stress to the patient and to their families. A trip off island, for respite or for medical treatment, often meant a long time away from their immediate family and relatives who often offered a huge amount of support.

The children’s hospice came about through a long campaign which started in 2003 primarily because of the family of a 2 year old Douglas boy called Ben Cowell. Ben sadly died before he could benefit from the care of a children’s hospice but his story raised the concerns for the services of for a children’s hospice on the Isle of Man.

There was a campaign called the Mighty Oak appeal which was aiming to raise funds for a new hospice so the children’s hospice need was even more pressing. One of the most significant donations was for £750,000 donation to the Mighty Oak Appeal with the sole purpose of paying for a Children’s Hospice in the Island.

This magnificent donation was given by the Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust. ‘Rebecca House’, named after the wealthy benefactor’s wife.

The four-bedded children’s unit began building up this service in November 2007 with its official opening by Robin and Dwina Gibb in November 2008.

Sadly Robin Gibb has now died and his widow, Dwina, requested that all donations in lieu of flowers were donated to Rebecca House it was decided to use a small amount of the funds from this very generous gesture to fund a calendar for 2013. A beautiful piece of artwork from Dwina Gibb is the front page and is entitled “Peeping”.

Frances Bland, team leader for Rebecca House explained: “We are very grateful to Dwina for thinking of our children’s hospice at a very sad time in her life and felt it was appropriate to use these funds to generate even more income to continue to run our much needed services.”

She added: “We had an absolutely fantastic day putting everything together; it was a real team effort, to have the opportunity to dress up in fabulous dresses, have our hair and make up done, put on magnificent jewellery – it was a once in a lifetime experience and thoroughly enjoyed by myself and all the team.” “It is slightly embarrassing to have my photograph as the “poster girl” all over the island but as it is such a good cause I happily agreed!” “Thank you to all the team for also agreeing to have their photographs taken.”

Frances thanked photographers Marianne McCourt, Dave Silvester, the team at Utopia for doing the hair, make-up by Barbara Coney and Yvonne Donlan at Equilibrium, Nadine at Custom Made and Charles Alexander for the loan of the jewellery.

The team at Rebecca House are also grateful to the families of the children that come into the unit for doing all the fabulous artwork. The artwork is also included in the calendar.

 

 

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