Helen & Douglas House Hospice doctor asked Frugi for a clothing donation to help families during difficult times, which lead to a £10k donation towards supportive hospice stays.
Every year we donate 1% of our turnover to charity (whether we make a profit or not). So with every little thing you buy from Frugi, you’re supporting our charity project: Little Clothes BIG Change.
Our charity work is something that is very important to Frugi and our founders, and our annual donation is something we have always done and always will.
Helen & Douglas House provide hospice care for babies and children in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties. Offering a home from home when families need it most, the team at Helen & Douglas House provide round-the-clock care in a warm, loving environment for children with life-limiting and terminal conditions, and support for their families. They pride themselves on being a comforting cocoon filled with laughter, a peaceful place where families can create happy memories in their last days, weeks, months or years together.
This donation will make a huge difference to four families and their children who rely on the hospice and the care it provides. It will give each family the chance to have a supportive stay at Helen & Douglas House where they can get vital care and support when they need it most.
Families with vulnerable children, often with disabilities and complex medical needs, have spent the best part of two years shielding and/or protecting their children from Covid-19. With little to no support from outside agencies in the first year of the pandemic, many families reached “breaking point”.
Helen & Douglas House developed a Covid-safe environment to deliver day and overnight (up to three nights) in-house care for families once again. These visits mean such a lot to the children they care for, and they rely on the medical support and treatment to help control the complex symptoms and manage the pain experienced. During their visits the care team at Helen & Douglas House help children and families create happy memories together and enable play, cooking and crafts. The stays also mean that parents get a break from being carers; they can be just mummy and daddy to their child, and their other children, or they can take time out to be themselves and to rest.
By funding these supportive stays, we are providing a lifeline; and this donation will prevent four families from reaching crisis point. The best part of this incredible donation… it came about after a chance ‘ask’ from one of the Helen & Douglas House doctors who could see a family were struggling.
This really does demonstrate how the care team at Helen & Douglas House go above and beyond for the children and families they care for.
Dr Caroline Sprinz first contacted the Frugi Fairies about a little girl called Eunice. She and her mum were going through a particularly hard time, so she’d asked us if we could donate any of our lovely clothes as a treat. After hearing Dr Caroline’s request we sent a selection of dresses, pyjamas and socks in the post for Eunice to enjoy.
“I got in touch with Frugi in the first place as their clothes are really distinctive and so recognisable that I noticed Eunice was wearing a Frugi outfit! I had read on their website about ‘Frugi Fairies’ who you can contact and ask for a treat for someone having a hard time, which Eunice and her mum really were. I emailed and asked if they would send Eunice some clothes, which they kindly did. We were then made aware of their charity project. We applied and I just found out that they have awarded us with £10k. I love that this started with something as simple as some nice pyjamas for a poorly little girl.” – Dr Caroline Sprinz
“It was a lovely and totally unexpected gift. It is also great that they have donated the £10k, as it is a smaller charity, not national, and I didn’t know they did that.” – Tracey, Eunice’s mum
Eunice first started visiting Helen & Douglas House when she was just two years old when she first began showing signs of scoliosis in her spine in early 2020. A subsequent MRI and biopsy confirmed she had a tumour on her spinal cord which led to 18 months of chemotherapy.
It was during her chemotherapy that Eunice started to spend time at Helen & Douglas House where they offered pain management. This is now the main reason she is cared for by the hospice alongside the supportive stays and step discharge from hospital.
Eunice has complex pain because of her scoliosis and the complication of the tumour that sits on her spine. Needing care day and night means the only time mum, Tracy, can get some respite from her 24/7 care is during supportive visits to Helen & Douglas House.
Despite her complications, Tracy tells us Eunice is a very determined and smiley child. She is non-verbal and autistic, but copes incredibly with the pain she suffers as a result of her conditions. Eunice adores the hospice and, as her mum says, ‘it is like a giant playroom for her. There is space for her to not feel ‘contained’ and she can enjoy arts and crafts, painting and going in the therapeutic pool’.
Tracy is Eunice’s full-time carer. She barely sleeps at home; if Eunice wakes in the night, she has to be on hand to care for her. So, when they visit the hospice, she can stay in the family flats and is available if needed but gets the rare chance to just have some time to herself and get a restful night’s sleep. Something many of us take for granted.
They are not sure about Eunice’s life-expectancy, but without Helen & Douglas House her family would struggle to cope with her pain management and care. Their supportive stays give them the chance to get the care and support which they simply wouldn’t cope well without.
Find out more about Helen & Douglas House HERE.
Our donation of £10,000 will make a huge difference to the families that receive care and respite at Helen & Douglas House.
Through our Little Clothes BIG Change charity project, we’re proud to share that we’ve donated over £1 million to charitable causes since the very beginning of Frugi, nearly 18 years ago. This is a crucial part of our wider mission to help protect the planet we play on.
Frugi CEO Sarah Clark says, “Being able to give back to children in need like Eunice is what our charity programme was set up to do and I’m personally moved to learn about this donation’s direct impact. Frugi’s mission is to reach out and help more vulnerable children all over the UK as our charity initiatives continue to expand.”
If you’d like to directly support Helen & Douglas House, you can find out more HERE.
Together we can make a BIG change!