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“Thanks to St Oswald’s Hospice we have experienced things together this summer I honestly never thought were possible. Sophia has used the service for over three years now and I can’t imagine our life without the support we receive from them.

“Sophia had a rough start to the summer holidays with her health but my goodness did she make up for it with some amazing trips which wouldn’t have been possible without St Oswald’s. The first visit we went on was a surfing trip. Hospice staff contacted me, asking if during Sophia’s respite visit they could take her surfing & my instant reaction was surely not, that’s not possible? She’s nil by mouth which means no food or liquid can go into her mouth so this just sounded crazy and impossible given how unpredictable the sea is.

“I was blown away at how thought through everything was. All of the staff went above and beyond to ensure the three children taking part were super safe, everything was covered and South Shields Surf School were just amazing. Never did I ever think I would see Sophia on a surf board in the North Sea.

“Our second trip was the ‘Wetwheels’ boat trip. I smile ear to ear when I think of this day. Sophia had never been on any sort of boat, never mind a thrill seeking speedboat. I was crying tears of joy seeing her face so excited, she was laughing like I’ve never seen her laugh before and I learnt that she was actually such a thrill-seeker. Precious memories were made this summer to treasure forever, thank you all so so much.”

Megan’s daughter, Sophia, 6, comes to St Oswald’s Hospice Children’s Service for short breaks and she’s been joining in with a summer of fun during her stays with us.

Our young people have enjoyed weekly adaptive surfing lessons at South Tyneside Surf School, countless trips to Cirque du Hilarious, a boat trip with Wetwheels Foundation and a fun day at Calvert Trust with some of our young adults.

Because of the vulnerability and complex needs of all of the people we care for, they’ve spent a lot of time shielding and it hasn’t been possible to arrange trips outside of the Unit for quite some time. This summer it has felt so good to be able to enjoy time in the great outdoors and make some unforgettable memories.