In a moving tribute to the life of their daughter, Sophie Rolf, Gemma Blamire and Aaron Rolf- founders of Sophie’s charity KissyPuppy – have donated £56,274 towards a service provided by Earl Mountbatten Hospice for parents whose children have died.
The Hospice’s ‘resting service’ allows parents to spend time with their child in a comfortable, private room, after their child has passed away – this room was the first project that Sophie undertook and raised £10k in only a few weeks, enabling adaptions to be made and the equipment to be brought to turn one of the adult only rooms into a “multi-use room” that could be used by children and their families.
Liz Arnold, Director of Patient Services, says the service gives parents some space and time to come to terms with their loss, and to say goodbye at a pace which is bearable for them.
“Thankfully, our resting service isn’t used too often but over the last twelve months we have assisted several families who have tragically lost a child.
“Each time our service is needed, we ensure the room is as the parents would like it for their child, so it may be a favourite colour or a particular theme. We also ensure there are nurses dedicated to the family during the time they spend with us, so our team is on hand 24 hours a day to make sure the family are looked after and have everything they need until they feel able to say goodbye to their child.”
Speaking about the donation, which was presented to staff by Gemma and Aaron at Earl Mountbatten Hospice this week, Liz said it was a “heartfelt, wonderful gesture and yet another amazing tribute to beautiful little Sophie.”
Sophie was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 2012, and died at the end of 2013. Since her death, Gemma and Aaron, through KissyPuppy, have supported the Hospice’s children’s services, having donated more than £150,000.
Speaking about the latest donation for the resting service, Aaron said:
“As we have said all along, it has been about providing a choice to families at possibly one of the lowest points in their lives; a choice that is readily available on the mainland without hesitation. What we have all managed to provide is quite simply ground-breaking. It is unique. No other adult hospice in the country is equipped to provide this service. And we think this is a testament to the support we have received not only from the Hospice and the NHS but the public too.
“Without their support this would simply not have been possible. It is utterly heartbreaking that the service has proved to be in such demand in its first twelve months; however, everybody should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved and Gemma, Jack and I shall be eternally grateful and we hope Sophie would be proud of what she started.”