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Creating magical memories and special moments for young people at St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice

Creating magical memories and special moments for young people at St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice

For wheelchair-bound youngsters like eight-year-old Gareth Mentell, from North Shields, the seaside is often out of bounds.

But this week, our friends at St Oswald’s Hospice gave Gareth and other children, whose families rely on its Children and Young Adults Service, a special day out.

And not only was he able to experience the sounds of the waves on the shoreline and smell the sea air but he also made a four-legged friend – Obama, the pony who took him on his short journey.

Gareth, who also has Down’s syndrome, spends time each month at St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice to give his parents, Jon and Clodagh, some respite. All money raised from Elmer’s Great North parade will directly support families just like Gareth’s and provides not only quality care, but also magical memories and special moments to cherish forever.

This has been such an experience for us all. Gareth has got to do something we never thought possible. It has been amazing to see him experience something that other children can do and now we can say he’s been horse riding.

You could see from Gareth’s reactions and responses today that he had such a good time, by clapping his hands I could tell he was asking for more.

Gareth's mum, Clodagh

Jocelyn Thompson, Children and Young Adults Service Manager, at St Oswald’s Hospice added:

“With Elmer’s Great North Parade, we want to help families create memories, and that was also the aim behind taking the children to the beach. Thanks to the specially adapted trailer which can take wheelchairs, Gareth and some of our other children have been able to enjoy what most children take for granted.

“There are other benefits, too – in fact, our nurses believe this could almost have been classed as therapy, the children and their families have enjoyed it so much.”

Because of your support of the trail. St Oswald’s can continue to provide experiences like this for young people with complex conditions from across the region. Thank you.

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