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Acorns Childrens Hospice

Page history last edited by Aaliyah Tait-Douglas 6 years, 5 months ago

 

Partner institution: Acorns Children's Hospice

Website: https://www.acorns.org.uk/

 

Contributors (2015):

Aaliyah Tait-Douglas

 

Instructions:

Contributors: for details on what is required in each section, please look at the Guidance Notes

Contents: 

Placement Information

Accommodation

Transport

Social life

Things to do, things not to do

Useful Contacts

Before you go

Placement Information

The hospice is a charity ran organisation where children who are terminally ill and life threatened stay for a long period of time (while I was there a girl had been there nearly a year) or go for a day, as it gives the parents a break to do things like spend time with other siblings.  It is located in Walsall in the West Midlands next door to Birmingham city. This placement will be good for someone who is unsure about the path they want to take after this course because whilst being there I noticed there were so many roles in relation to children. More specifically anyone who wants to later go into such things as counselling, as the siblings of these children sometimes do go on to have counselling.  The service primarily cares for the children but there are other groups for other family members such as Brothers And Sisters In Leagues (BASIL) and grandparents group. If you do take this make sure you prepare yourself mentally if you think you are not strong since the children are ill, you will hear of children passing away and come into contact with the families of these children. The language spoken is English, however children majority of the children are non-verbal therefore use other forms of communication, such as Makaton, laughs and cries. I found this part of the placement very interesting, as the staff who used to being with the children understood exactly what they are saying. While there you may go on walks with the children to the local pet shop or McDonalds which makes it more fun than sitting in the setting, although the setting has quite a home feel to it with dining room, Televisions in every room and the garden. This is so the children who are there are comfortable. Overall it is a very sensory based experience.

 

                

Accommodation

I live in Birmingham, so I stayed at home and caught the train every morning. On my travels to and from placement I passed a Park Inn which is about 10 minute walking distance of the hospice. However, only downside is it is by the motorway and train station, so may be noisy, also not much to do in the area if you opted to stay here. Another option is booking into a hotel in Birmingham city centre in which there are plenty more hotel options and more night life, restaurants etc. 

 

This is the Park Inn 10 minutes away. 

Transport

There are two local train stations which one is a 10 minute walk from the hospice, I am not sure of the walking distance of the other, however one of the days I remember google mapping it and it said 19 minutes so did not test out the walk. Since I stayed at home I caught the train from Hamstead to Bescott Stadium and vice versa which was only a 7 minute journey and some mornings (if lucky) would get a lift from my Mom which was a 10/15 minute drive. So, if it was decided to stay in hotel in Birmingham city centre the train journey would be a 23 minute journey towards Walsall with no changes involved, making sure you get off at Bescot Stadium. Once off the train it is a straight walk. 

 

         

Social life

You can catch the train to Birmingham city centre where there are shops, cinemas, clubs and many more things to do. If you know Birmingham you know it is the home of the Bullring, Millennium Point and Cadbury World if you like chocolate. These are all places worth visiting to take up your spare time while on placement. 

 

 

Things to do, things not to do

If you are from the UK or used to Nottingham, then it is just like any other city full of many cultures and friendly people. There is no dress code at the setting, but it is not a good idea to wear your nicest clothes or low cut tops as you are going to be dealing with ill children who are unpredictable, they dribble, vomit and pull.  Once there, be professional (this includes to the staff, the children and the parents/siblings of the ill children) and don't be stand offish to interact and play with the children due to their conditions. When I was there I played football in the garden with one of the siblings of a little boy and it was nice to see him having fun while his parents and Grandma were inside sorting other things out. And I had fun seeing him smile too! 

 

 

Useful Contacts

Address: Walstead Rd, Walsall WS5 4LZ

Phone number of hospice: 01922 422500

Placement advisor: Julie.cragg@acorns.co.uk

 

 

 

Before you go

A visit will be arranged for a tour of the premises and to check your DBS (which is previously known as CRB). If in doubt about doing the placement after the visit do not hesitate or be afraid to let them know Julie Cragg the staff nurse who deals with placements is every so nice and we got along so well. Closer to them time make sure you have your days and times sorted. I sent an e-mail about a month before and she responded straight away and this was okay for me. 

 

 

 

 

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