Page 1


n m u t u A 2o18

Going the Extra Mile

Car Rafflfle Winner!

This year’s Grand Car Raffle has raised £24,016 and saw Julie Thomas of Huby, near Leeds, take home a brand new Citroën C1, with ITV Calendar presenter Christine Talbot handing over the keys. We’d like to thank everyone who bought tickets, and a special thanks to our sponsors HARIBO and Evans Halshaw Citroën Leeds, who have supported the car raffle since it started nine years ago. Thanks to them, more of the money raised goes to supporting children and their families. Tickets are now on sale for our Christmas Raffle, available from our website and in our shops. Dom with daughter Scarlett

Dom Hodgson is in his third year of fundraising for Martin House. A selfproclaimed ‘hater of running’, Dom has reluctantly put himself through a number of running challenges for Martin House, and 2018 is no different.

doing the same all over again, but this time in Disney World Florida.

“I chose Martin House to fundraise for as I used to work for Mencap, where a lot of the families I worked with had children who came to Martin House and I could see how much it meant to them. It also means a lot to me knowing that it exists and provides the type of care and support that it does”, said Dom.

Runs aren’t Dom’s only fundraising achievement. Dom works in digital marketing and he recently had the innovative idea to set up the Penguin Awards, a set of light-hearted awards for the digital marketing sector. He pitched the idea to four of his contacts, who immediately said they would each like to sponsor individual awards.

However, there’s something different about Dom’s fundraising that he feels helps to bring in sponsorship money. So far this year, he’s taken on Kapow!, an obstacle course at Temple Newsam in a penguin suit, the Leeds 10K dressed as Tinkerbell and the York 10K as a parrot. “I don’t like to ask for money, so I wear a different costume for every run I take part in and I film video updates throughout the runs on social media. This year, anyone can pledge £5 to make me listen to a song of their choice during the run, or £20 and I’ll record a video message during the run for that particular supporter. That way everyone gets something out of it. And in a costume, I’m not expected to get a decent time!” Dom will be jetting off to Disneyland Paris in September to take part in its 5K, 10K and halfmarathon, over three consecutive days, all in different costumes. Then, in October, he will be 2 Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018

“The ultimate goal is to take on the Dopey Challenge at Disney World in 2021, where you take part in a 5K, 10K, half-marathon and a marathon, over four days!”

“The typical digital marketing awards are expensive to sponsor and expensive to attend. I made a small website for the awards, and within four days, each award had been sponsored at £250 each. “The awards are daft. There’s things like Best Office Dog, Worst Beard in Search Marketing, Most Awesome Team Photo and so on. But so far, the awards and the running combined have raised over £5,000 this year for Martin House.” To find out more about Dom’s fundraising, visit, or visit the Penguin Awards at

With our extensive gardens and comfortable, home-from-home feel, Martin House is a special place for the children, young people and families who spend time here. For one day only, we are throwing our doors open to welcome the public to see first-hand all the facilities and services Martin House offers. There will also be a host of family-friendly activities, including small animals from Nuzzlets, face painting and rides, along with refreshments and stalls, where you can buy Christmas cards and other merchandise. You can also drop off donations for our charity shops, and learn more about how you can help Martin House, through volunteering or fundraising at one of our events.

Our Open Day takes place on Sunday 7th October, from 11am to 3pm, and gives people the chance to look round the hospice, meet our amazing care team and hear inspirational stories from families and young people.

Visit for more details, or call our fundraising team on 01937 844569 Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018 3

Remembering Pippa

Baby Pippa

When Ian and Hannah Twitchett's identical twin daughters Pippa and Penny were born prematurely at 30 weeks, they stayed in hospital for two months before coming home.

“They were both poorly when they were born, but nothing that you wouldn’t expect from premature babies. The only real thing that was concerning was their size,” said Ian. However, eight days after Pippa came home, she became very unwell with viruses that began to attack her liver. At ten weeks old, weighing just 1.62kg, she was diagnosed with acute liver failure, and needed at least 16 blood transfusions over the next ten weeks. Just a couple of days after Christmas, when Pippa was four months old, Ian and Hannah were told she wouldn't survive. The family were given the option of bringing Pippa to Martin House,

4 Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018

where she could die peacefully, surrounded by her family. “We were aware of Martin House before, but we weren’t familiar with it. We met with a member of the care team at Martin House, who explained what would happen when we brought Pippa there, and we thought it would be the perfect place for her to be at the end of her life. We’d told our four-year old daughter Evelyn that we were taking Pippa to a ‘big special house’. “The long-term care that we were told we’d receive was also a big factor in our choice, knowing that we’d 100% need that support after letting her go, not only for ourselves but

also for Pippa’s grandparents and for Evelyn, as a big sister. “Even in those last few hours, Pippa still put up a fight. It was almost as if she was having one last go at life. All of our family who could be there were able to have one last cuddle. It was very special. “We stayed at Martin House with Pippa for five days. Evelyn got to see her more during those five days than she had in the whole time that Pippa had been alive. “My dad, who lives in California, had flown back home the day before Pippa and Penny were born, so had never got the chance to meet Pippa. A friend set up a fundraising page for us while we were staying at Martin House, which raised enough for us to travel to California to spread her ashes. “As a family, we love to visit Hawk Hill in San Francisco in the evening when the sun sets and the lights of the city come out. It’s where Hannah and I went on our honeymoon six years ago, so it felt like the right place to let Pippa go. The breeze came just as we arrived and it was perfect. Evelyn turned to me and said ‘Daddy, your face is leaking!’ “Given the circumstances, I couldn’t think of a better place for us to have been and dread to think where we would be now without Martin House. We were given all the time in the world, and received everything and more in terms of support. By meeting other families while we

were there, we understand just how much the care and support means to them, as well as us. “So far, we have received bereavement counselling at home and we’ll be joining the parents' group. Hannah’s parents have been to the bereaved grandparents' group, which was really important for them, as they were able to meet with other grandparents who share a similar experience. Evelyn has been on two of the days out with the sMARTINies group and has loved going along and joining in.” Ian and Hannah have documented their story on their Instagram page, @twinchetts, to share their experience. “We want anyone who has lost a child to know that it’s OK to talk about it, and we find writing about our experience therapeutic, so we want to help anyone else in a similar situation to ours.”

Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018 5

“I’ve also just introduced a new ‘small meal’ setup in the Whitby Lodge kitchen, where I’ve cooked batch individual meals, such as Hunter’s chicken, shepherd’s pie, individual curries and the equivalent as vegetarian options, as well as puddings, so that the young people can choose their meals and when they eat them. “Sometimes in the Lodge the young people stay up late and if they want to eat at midnight, the food will be there for them! It allows the care team more flexibility when it comes round to meal times, but also more choice for the young people.

ire a l C h t wi Claire has been working in the kitchen at Martin House for two years. Previously, she ran a childminding business, but after having her second child, she wanted to try her hand at something new. After completing two patisserie courses at Leeds City College, Claire applied for the role of assistant chef at Martin House, supporting our chef Robin Wraith. Her baking skills have been a huge hit with families, and she is now taking a lead in Whitby Lodge to give more flexibility and choice to young people when they stay. “I’ve always enjoyed baking and I’d done a lot of cupcake decorating in the past for things like children’s parties and for people I know. But it was my husband who egged me on to take up a course. “I wasn’t thinking of getting a job out of it. It was just a new skill to learn and something fun to do – and it was hard work! Patisserie isn’t easy.

6 Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018

“It’s also a good way to trial new recipes for the House, as when I’m cooking in the Lodge, it’s usually for around 10 people. In the House, it “Robin and I gelled straight away, and he has trained me, as I’d never worked in a professional kitchen outside of college, so I’ve followed his lead and learnt a lot from him.

To be able to cook a homemade, nourishing meal for the families and know they can relax and spend precious time with their children is the best thing for me “He also gives me flexibility in terms of doing my own thing in the kitchen, especially when it comes to introducing new recipes into Martin House. I work in the Lodge once a week and I’ll find out who is due in, what they like to eat and we’ll go from there. Recently I made stacker burgers, where you build your own burger with brioche buns and essentially add in anything you fancy!

can be for 40 people at once, so this gives me the chance to test out some dishes that I think could work and see where they could be improved, before cooking them in big batches. “Some families don’t have time to cook and may well be exhausted from the round-the-clock care they’re giving to children and young people. So to be able to cook a homemade, nourishing meal for the families and know they can relax and spend precious time with their children is the best thing for me.” 

ake recipe

Claire’s One-Pot-wonder Cupc

pcake case size) Makes 10-15 (depending on cu

Ingredients 8 oz self-raising flour 2 tsp baking powder 8 oz caster sugar 8 oz margarine 4 eggs 1 tsp vanilla essence


Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. Divide between cases and bake for 10 - 15 mins at 180c. Leave to cool and decorate!

A couple of tbsps of milk to loosen mixture if very thick

We’d love to see your baking! Please let us know if you make Claire’s cupcake recipe by tagging us on Facebook, on Instagram @martinhousech or tweeting us @martinhousech Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018 7

can be quite excited, like the time Mary brought a ‘unicorn’. “I remember one little girl, I’d never seen her make any facial expressions at all, but when she had a rabbit on her lap her face just changed. “It’s not just great for poorly children, it’s good for brothers and sisters too – they’ve taken the Pets as Therapy dogs for walks around the garden before. It’s something the whole family can get involved in, which is nice. Everyone always get something out of it – and the staff love it too!”

Animal fun!

Every pet owner will know the joy and relaxation that spending time with their animals brings. At Martin House we bring that experience to children and young people with regular visits from therapy animals. We’ve been lucky enough to receive weekly visits from Nuzzlets, an animal sanctuary based at Great Ouseburn near York, since 2002, while more recently we have also welcomed a number of Pets as Therapy dogs to spend time with children and young people. Mary and Kathy Chapman, who run Nuzzlets, bring a variety of animals to Martin House, from rabbits and guinea pigs, to kittens and chickens, and even Shetland ponies. Mary said: “We always have different animals, so the children see a variety. The favourites are kittens, pet lambs and chicks, although everybody enjoys the giant continental rabbits – they have the wow factor! “The children can stroke, feed and cuddle the animals, and carers frequently say the children’s 8 Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018

I have an amazing group of volunteers who help to make these visits so special for Martin House, and I can’t thank them enough for their support muscles and breathing relaxes while they are with the animals. They create lots of smiles, giggles and memories, which is just great.” Our care staff also recognise the benefits animal visits have on children and young people. Charlotte Walker, care team leader, said: “It’s the way each child reacts differently to each animal. It can be very peaceful for them, just holding the animal or stroking its fur, or they

I remember one little girl, I’d never seen her make any facial expressions at all, but when she had a rabbit on her lap her face just changed

and safe, and it is also paramount that the children are safe, so the animals have to be selected very carefully.” She added: “Every visit is special, and every child unique, and seeing their faces is just wonderful. A child reaching out to touch an animal, a smile, eye contact, muscles relaxing are all amazing. “There are so many memorable moments of wonderful children and families. Martin House is amazing and one of the happiest places we visit – the staff are incredible and always so welcoming!”

Thank you Mary and all of your Nuzzlets volunteers from us all at Martin House!

As well as weekly visits, Nuzzlets also comes to Martin House for other special occasions, including a day for brothers and sisters, our annual open day, and at Christmas for carols in the chapel. On Christmas Eve they also bring Santa Claus, who leads a procession of animals before delivering presents to the children. Our staff and families also make day trips to Nuzzlets during the summer, along with a summer barbecue, and individual families may visit the farm through the year. Mary said: “I have an amazing group of volunteers who help to make these visits so special for Martin House, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.” Nuzzlets, a registered charity, takes immense care in ensuring the safety and comfort of both its animals and the children and young people during visits. Mary said: “We only take animals who enjoy the company of people, as they need to feel happy

You can find out more about Nuzzlets on their website Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018 9

Awards Success! Martin House has received national recognition after winning a top Charity Retail Association award. Our Skipton shop was named Charity Shop of the Year in the Charity Retail Association Awards 2018 in June, praised for its strong community engagement and sales performance. Shop manager Andrina Reynoldson liaised with local businesses to increase stock donations and helped create new links for our corporate fundraisers. She and assistant manager Helen Wray are also part of a retail working group at Martin House, and they work closely with volunteer community ambassador Roma Turner, who gives talks and presentations about the hospice, helping her with volunteers and using the shop as a drop off and pick up point for supporter materials.

Michael has been a vehicle maintenance volunteer at Martin House for five years. Vicki Burnett, head of retail, said: “We are thrilled to have won this award. It’s a huge accolade for us, particularly as we were up against national charities. “Andrina and Helen have done a fabulous job, creating a real team spirit with our volunteers and a vibrant shop with a strong sense of community. We’ve seen an increase in shop sales because of this, which is so important in helping to fund Martin House’s work.”

In May we were also one of two finalists in the Charity Today Awards Hospice of the Year, narrowly missing out on the top prize in a public online vote. The award recognised how we excel in our work to improve the lives of people with an incurable illness, and how we care for both them and their families. Clair Holdsworth, director of care at Martin House, said: “We were delighted to be nominated for Hospice of the Year, and excited that a children’s hospice made it to the final of a national competition. “It’s a tribute to the dedication and commitment of all the staff and volunteers to ensuring the children and young people we care for have the chance to live the best lives they can, and that families can make precious memories together.”

10 Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018

Why I Volunteer...


“I heard about the vehicle maintenance opportunity and wanted to find out more. I was a motor mechanic for 30 years, so it made sense to carry on my trade. I work with a lot of nice chaps. It’s a really sociable group and we have a good laugh on Monday mornings. “Two of my sons, Christopher and Alex, have both used the services of Martin House. My wife, Lesley, and I, were fosterers and adoptive parents to a lot of children in our time. We fostered and adopted Christopher at a young age. He was very severely handicapped with blindness, serious fits and a heart condition, among a number of other health problems. “At the age of 11, he was taken into Leeds General Infirmary for a series of tests, when he became very poorly. We brought him to Martin House, where he relapsed and died. It was Martin House that got us through this time. “Later we began to foster a little boy aged four called Alexander. He had a similar severity of handicap to Christopher, and could have up to 200 fits a day. We contacted Martin House and he started visiting for respite stays. “Alex will be 21 this year, and is cared for by Hollybank Trust in Mirfield, a school for children with complex needs, where he lives permanently. When he was 16, Lesley died, and I’m older now with a few health problems, so it was too much for me to care for him by myself. I go to visit him every weekend, and he continues to come to Martin House for respite. “Martin House is my safeguard. They have experience of children like Alex, so they’re my main port-of-call if I have any questions about Alex’s health. It’s also very comforting to have the parents’ group, which I attend, as it’s a good opportunity to talk to other people who have similar experiences with their children, as having a disabled child can make you feel isolated. You can learn a lot from talking to others. “Volunteering is my way of putting something back for the care that Martin House gave to Christopher, continues to give to Alex, and the support they have given to myself and Lesley over the years.” We always need more volunteers to support us, from helping in our shops, on reception, with office work or maintenance roles. To find out more email or visit our website.

Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018 11

Thank you to our fundraisers!

Annie Fawcett held a live music night at the Boat House Bar

Lucy Donizetti held a bake sale and charity shop collection at St Stephen's School, Skipton

A fresh space for our furniture

Joyce Nellis and friends selling jam in Thornton-le-Dale

Elliot and Michelle Handford organised a fashion and hair show in Helmsley

We have recently signed the lease on the adjoining warehouse space next to our existing Furniture Warehouse and Showroom on Thorp Arch Trading Estate. This space is ideal for our eBay operations and also provides a base for us to hold our Martin House Makers crafting and upcycling workshops. Our existing warehouse is often full to the brim, so we are hoping that this added space will help us to manage our stock better and ease the creaking walls of our current warehouse!

Thornton-le-Dale spin riders took part in their annual Cycle Spin Wykeham Estate friends and family fundraising at the Downe Arms in Scarborough

You can pick up a bargain or donate your stock to our Furniture Warehouse and Showroom which is located at Unit 657A on Thorp Arch Trading Estate. Please call 01937 849039 for more information or go to:

Beckfoot and Hazelbeck Schools staged a Music for Martin House show

Rule the World raised money for Martin House at their performance in York

Bradford Rotary Club planting a tree that they have funded

Light up a Life Amid the festivities that come with the end of the year, for many of us it is also a time to remember loved ones who are no longer here.

Pock Peddlers completed the Way of the Roses cycle ride in April Yeadon Amateur Dramatics Society made a donation from their production Martin Firth with Leo and Lauren at their off road driving day

Willis Towers Watson volunteered in the Martin House gardens

Linley & Simpson collecting at Boston Spa Gala

The Co-operative Food presenting a cheque for the money that they raised in sponsorship for the Dragon Boat Race in May

Boston Spa Shop manager Karon and friends volunteered at Endure 24

St John's School fundraising during Lent

For a donation to Martin House, you can dedicate a tree light in memory of your loved one, and receive a personalised keepsake card and a listing in our commemorative books. You can also make your dedication online on our Light up a Life memory page, where you can include a personal message alongside your dedication, which can be seen around the world.

Haltemprice Friends' Group raising money at the Driffield Traction Engine Rally

Would you like to join in and fundraise for us? Call us on 01937 844569 12 Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018

Our annual Light up a Life appeal gives people the chance to commemorate and celebrate the lives of those important to us, by making a special dedication.

This year we are also holding three multi-faith Light up a Life services around our region, with a new service at Bradford Cathedral on Wednesday 12th December. It joins our services at St Mary’s Church, Boston Spa, on Tuesday 4th December and at Holy Trinity Church, Skipton, on Wednesday 5th December. They will include carols, readings and time for remembering, as well as the lighting of memory candles. Our commemorative books will be on display at these locations, as well as St Mary’s Church, Whitby and Beverley Minster, from early December until Twelfth Night. We can accept dedications until 5th January. You can make your dedication online at, in one of our shops or by calling our fundraising team on 01937 844569. Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018 13

Wedding BellS You may remember 30-year-old Daniel Allen, when he was featured in our Spring newsletter, talking about the things he enjoys about coming to Martin House. Well, soon after we spoke to Daniel, he and his mum Lindsay were cordially invited to the grounds of Windsor Castle for the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Daniel said: “I liked the horses and carriage best, and the band, and Harry and Meghan waving to us!” Lindsay said: “Daniel was so excited to be there. He just soaked up the atmosphere and everything that was going on. He was on cloud nine all day! “We were standing in an area right by the archway where the carriage came through. When Harry

and Meghan went past, Daniel was shouting and waving the Union Jack. “The band stood right in front us, which Daniel loved. We were even pictured in the background of the television coverage! “We were made to feel so special. It was a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime day and we felt very honoured to have been invited. We met some lovely people while we were there. Everyone was so kind and the marshals kept checking that we were OK. “Daniel wouldn’t even take his tie off on the journey home as he thought it was brilliant getting dressed up for the day!”

Olivia Hutchinson, 21, suffers from a condition called Tay-Sachs, which is a degenerative brain disease that impacts her short-term memory and causes muscle deterioration. She has been visiting Martin House for respite stays during the last five years. When Olivia’s big sister, Abigail, got married earlier this year, Abigail wanted Olivia to be her bridesmaid. However, she also wanted their mum, Sally, who cares for Olivia round-the-clock, to enjoy her role as Mother of the Bride to the fullest, without worrying about caring for Olivia throughout the day. “I contacted Martin House about Abigail’s wedding for some advice, unsure how we would manage, and the care team kindly offered to help us out”, said Sally. Sally was able to walk down the aisle with Olivia in her beautiful bridesmaid’s dress, while two care team members sat with Olivia when she took on her full bridesmaid’s duties. They were then able to care for Olivia after the ceremony, while Sally and her family attended the wedding reception, which would have been a little too much for Olivia. “We wouldn’t have been able to have enjoyed the day like we did without Martin House. The staff were absolutely amazing. “Martin House is the only place that we can leave Olivia and know that she’s safe. I’m resting, I’m not worried and I’m not concerned when we leave her. And when she comes back home, she’s been doing something fun or has been taken somewhere exciting, so we were very grateful for them helping us out on this special day.”

14 Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018

A round -up s t n e v e r u o of

This has been a great year for our events so far. In April, our London Marathon runners raised over £24,000, having run in a heatwave! We also saw the return of our Dragon Boat Race at Roundhay Park in May, which raised a phenomenal £47,000 and our Glitter Ball at Rudding Park, which raised over £87,000. Some very generous guests at the Glitter Ball bid for an array of fantastic prizes, including a speed car experience prize for our children and young people to enjoy. This December, our Santas will be on the run, let loose through Wetherby town centre for the first time!

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved with our events, please email, visit our website or call us on 01937 844569

Amazing support from Dean Court

Dean Court Hotel, based in the heart of York, has been a long-term supporter of Martin House, raising over £25,000 since 2012. The hotel, located at Duncombe Place, has not only had fun with its fundraising activities, but staff have been creative, thinking of many different ways to raise money for us! The team have been selling our little Marty Bears to kind-hearted people staying at their hotel for the past six years and in 2018 we’ve seen one lucky Marty go on tour, visiting some fantastic places both near and far. In July, Dean Court entered a team into our Colour Run at Bramham Park. The Technicolour Ten had a great time on the day running, skipping and laughing their way around the most colourful 3.5km course and raising a fantastic £1,652.76. We can’t thank the staff at Dean Court enough for all their hard work and long term commitment to the care and services we deliver at Martin House and we are really looking forward to seeing how our partnership grows over the coming years.

Marty on the Great Wall of China

Marty at the Colosseum in Rome

Could you fundraise for us at your place at work? Email to find out more. Martin House Autumn Newsletter 2018 15

Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People, Grove Road, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 6TX Tel: 01937 845045

Follow us on

Facebook by searching for Martin House Children’s Hospice

Twitter @MartinHouseCH

Instagram @MartinHouseCH

LinkedIn by searching for Martin House Children’s Hospice

Registered Charity No. 517919. A Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England & Wales No. 02016332. VAT Registration No. 686 5694 67

Profile for martinhouse6

Autumn Newsletter 2018 v2  

Our newsletter for Autumn 2018 is now live! We hope you enjoy reading our update from Martin House and from across our region.

Autumn Newsletter 2018 v2  

Our newsletter for Autumn 2018 is now live! We hope you enjoy reading our update from Martin House and from across our region.