A little girl with spina bifida is just one of many children with unique health needs who benefit from the generosity of local people who donate to Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity each year.

Two-year-old Lily-Sue was born with spina bifida which is when a baby’s spine and spinal cord don’t develop properly in the womb, causing a gap in the spine. The condition can lead to weakness or paralysis in the legs and problems with bowel and urinary functions.

For any parent, running errands with a toddler can be challenging, but most people have the option of leaving their children with a family member or friend for a couple of hours to give them a chance to get out of the house and get things done. For Lily-Sue’s mum Lizzie, Florrie’s Children’s Team has given just the support she has needed. And with the arrival of a little sister for Lily-Sue, she appreciates the care they give even more.

“It’s a fantastic help. It gives me time out, which is very rare, a breather and a calm environment for Lily-Sue so I can have time to do errands or just have me time and a break,” says Lizzie.

Lily-Sue is making excellent progress in her speech, learning, and walking, Florrie’s Team Lead Angie Pestka says. “But anyone who takes care of her for any length of time needs to know how to use a catheter to help her go to the toilet, and how to give her medication. And that’s not something a lot of people are confident about taking on.”

“Her needs are not massive,” says Lizzie. “But we’ve just learned how to do a bowel wash-out, something most parents will never have to do. The Florrie’s Team gives me the confidence to leave Lily-Sue with someone who knows how to do everything, like catheterise her and give her medicine properly.”

“Lily-Sue has a great relationship with Angie,” she continues. “She likes it when Angie comes, and it’s been great having the consistency of the same person looking after her. It’s also great to get Angie’s feedback on how Lily-Sue is developing, that extra input aside from family. We’re just so grateful for the support from Florrie’s which has made such a difference to our family life.”

Florrie’s Children’s Team is wholly funded by Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity.