£20,000 donation funds neonatal key worker role at Shropshire hospice

A Shropshire hospice has received a £20,000 donation which will fund the post of a dedicated neonatal key worker next year.

Hope House Children's Hospice
Hope House Children's Hospice

Hope House Children's Hospice, near Oswestry, has benefited from the funding after applying to Bolton-based social enterprise Box Power, which has donated all of its profits to good causes.

After opening up applications for funding in June, Box Power also surprised charities by doubling the amount that each of them applied for and providing funding to cover two years instead of just one.

In total, a staggering £800,000 was given away and split between 24 charities of different sizes, scopes and services, in order for the money to have the biggest positive impact possible.

One of the charities to benefit from this huge giveaway was Hope House Children's Hospice, which had originally applied for £10,000.

Representatives from the charity - chief executive Andy Goldsmith and director of fund-raising Simi Epstein - attended a special charity event at Brookfield Hall in Bolton in November to celebrate their hard work and achievements in being awarded this donation.

Simi said: “I found Box Power’s charity event to be truly inspirational. Thank you so much from all at Hope House Children’s Hospices for showing us there are still incredible people like the Dalby family who put others' needs before their own.

"I find that so comforting, especially in these challenging times.

“This grant has enabled us to fund a neonatal key worker in 2022.

Simi Epstein, director of fundraising at Hope House Children's Hospice in Morda near Oswestry, with the tree of hope at the new counselling centre at Hope House. WITH WORDS SUE FOR STAR AND OSWESTRY BORDER CHRON.. PIC BY SIMON WILLIAMS

"Giving birth to a seriously ill baby is the most heartbreaking event to happen to any family and the thought that some parents go through this alone is unbearable.

"Thankfully, Box Power’s generosity will ensure our families will now receive ongoing specialist practical and emotional support for as long as they need it."

The neonatal key worker will provide a consistent single point of contact for families throughout the trajectory of their children’s illness; someone who knows the family and their needs well and can provide access to vital practical help and information, while offering a supportive listening ear.

Box Power was founded by Bolton-based couple Corin and Tricia Dalby, after their son Benjamin was diagnosed with autism and the couple sold their large, multi-million-pound energy brokerage company to a PLC in 2012.

In the time that followed, the couple were so blown away by the help they received from support networks and the local community that they felt inspired to give back.

So they set up Box Power - the UK’s first not-for-profit energy consultancy - designed to give clients peace of mind knowing they were not only getting the best energy deals, but their money was also doing good.

Having set aside profits from the last few years and witnessing the devastating impact Covid has had on charities over the past 18 months, Corin and Tricia felt it appropriate to utilise the accumulated profits and open up applications for funding back in June.

More than 200 charities applied and Tricia and Corin personally reviewed each one, as well as arranging in-person or Zoom meetings to speak with the charities directly before whittling the options down to 24.

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