Launching our Little Heroes Care program
Since day one, our priority has been our little heroes families. We see a need, we fill it. That is our approach when developing our major projects.
However, while the majority of our little heroes are supported by these projects, unfortunately some families are not. This is generally due to their child’s condition either not requiring the equipment or service, or being unable to benefit from it.
That is why we decided to offer ongoing, practical support. Specialised services that are flexible to suit the needs of the child and the family.
In 2011, we took our first step in making this dream become a reality, launching ChildFamilyCare. This was a national initiative funded by Little Heroes and was delivered in conjunction with various charity partners, to support the unmet needs of children and their families in their life after diagnosis.
Following the success of this pilot program and refinement of the principles and on which the service model was based, the program was rebranded as Little Heroes Care from 2012.
The long term vision for Little Heroes Care is to ensure that every seriously ill child and their family has access to the very best care regardless of the rarity of their diagnosis, financial circumstances or where they live.
Recognising that every family is unique and every diagnosis presents unique challenges, Little Heroes Care provides services that are community based and flexible to meet the individual needs of the family.
Alex, one of our little heroes and the inspiration behind our ‘Alex’s Playground’ initiative.
Little Heroes Care support includes:
- Access to car parking close to the hospital
- Professional home cleaning support during intensive treatment
- In-home nursing support for children with Epidermolysis Bullosa (also known as ‘butterfly children’). This specialised nursing care reduces the need for hospital stays and gives parents respite from the traumatic task of changing their child’s dressings daily
- BP fuel cards to help with the costs of travelling for treatment
- Foodland vouchers to help with the costs of living between the home and the hospital
- Financial assistance to help cover the household bills and unexpected costs
- Provision of ‘Hospital PJs’ specially designed for easy access to ports and lines
- Alex’s Playground – providing backyard play equipment for seriously ill children with critically low immune systems
- Education and tuition support – including school choice consultancy and advice and parenting seminars through a partnership with Feegrade Educational Consultancy.
- Growing Up Smiling Dental Program through North Adelaide Dental Care for patients and siblings.
However, Little Heroes Care extends beyond these services. Throughout the year, we host various events for all of our Little Heroes and their families to attend. These includes a yearly Christmas Party, our Freedom Flights at Goolwa, Flotilla for Kids and our monthly Morning/Afternoon Tea in the Michael Rice Centre.
Our Little Heroes Maddison (left) at our Flotilla for Kids, Ivy (middle) and India (right, with Chris McDermott) at our Christmas Party in 2015.
Launching Little Heroes Care was a pivotal moment in our 20 year history as it took us from a charity that funded equipment for the WCH, to a charity that provides ongoing, practical and at times, emotional support for our little heroes and their families.