MP praises work of The Sussex Snowdrop Trust
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has praised the work of The Sussex Snowdrop Trust following a visit to their office in Walberton on Friday (2 October).
Mr Herbert met the charity’s co-founder and chairman Di Levantine to hear more about the Trust which provides nursing care at home for children who have a life-threatening or terminal illness.
Former nurse, Di Levantine has dedicated 23 years as a full time, unsalaried CEO for Snowdrop.
Many of the families with Snowdrop live within the St Richard’s Hospital area. Di highlighted to Mr Herbert the stories of some of the 77 families they are currently helping.
The Trust recognises the needs of a family when a child is diagnosed with a life-limiting or terminal illness. The Snowdrop team are able to provide a package of care which includes emotional and financial support, and at-home nursing care.
The dedicated Children’s Community Nurses provide support for parents and enable them to be confident to administer their child’s medicine and treatment. Snowdrop also provides additional support from their experienced Snowdrop Counsellor.
Since the charity was founded in 1993, nearly every child that has become terminally ill has been cared for in the familiar and safe surroundings of their own home, with the support of the exceptional Snowdrop nurses throughout this very difficult time.
All of this is made possible through the tremendous fundraising efforts that take place all year round. The cost of providing the Trust’s nurses is around £300,000 a year.
Families and supporters have raised money in a variety of ways including bike rides and skydives. The Trust hosts an annual fundraising walk in Arundel Castle Park in May which Mr Herbert supports.
Volunteers are also an important part of the support network provided by Snowdrop. There are 25 Snowdrop Family Volunteers who drive families to and from hospital appointments, befriend families and can also accompany children, including siblings, on outings. Some volunteers are ex-teachers and have been able to help members of the family with homework.
Di Levantine said: “As one of the Snowdrop mother's said recently, 'You don't know about Snowdrop until you (unfortunately) need it. So when Nick Herbert visited me in the Walberton office, it was the perfect opportunity to tell him in detail, how Snowdrop helps children who have been diagnosed with a life threatening or terminal illness, and supports their families. I think he was surprised by our unique charity and the different ways that we help families who are going through the worst possible time as they care for a very sick child.”
Nick Herbert said: "It was great to see Di again, to visit Snowdrop’s office and to learn more about the wonderful work that the Sussex Snowdrop Trust does for local families.
“This area is fortunate to have Snowdrop and caring people like Di who dedicate their time to making life easier for those families with children who are very ill. These families face extraordinary pressures and Snowdrop provides invaluable support to them.
“The Trust relies almost entirely on donations and fundraising and I look forward to supporting it at future events.”
Mr Herbert added: “Di Levantine’s voluntary work for more than two decades for the Trust is truly an inspiration. She is a very special person.”
1. Photograph – Nick Herbert with Di Levantine, co-founder and chairman of The Sussex Snowdrop Trust.
2. For more information about The Sussex Snowdrop Trust see http://www.thesussexsnowdroptrust.com/