Starting Out – 5th AUGUST 2015

Hannah has started her own project Hannah’s Helping Hand. She hopes to help a different charity every month, with something like hosting  a little event, a sponsored walk, a collection of goods or just volunteering to help. So far she has helped Post Pals, The Bay Food Bank and Marie Curie. We are very proud of Hannah for her hard work, and very grateful to everyone who supports her in her efforts.

Let me explain why she is doing it….

Hannah is a bright, kind hearted 6 year old who has had a lot to cope with in her little life. Hannah’s brother Adam is 8 and has been profoundly disabled since birth. He can’t walk, talk, eat or drink, sit unaided and has a visual impairment and epilepsy. He is totally reliant on others for his care and always will be. Hannah and Adam love each other with all their hearts. Since birth, she has had to spend a lot of time apart from one or both of her parents because her big brother was in hospital. She is very understanding but also confused by the upheaval caused every time Adam is unwell. She has seen him taken ill suddenly, and has witnessed him having seizures out of nowhere. Hannah worries a lot about people and events, especially things she can’t control. She tries to stay positive for Adam, but struggles with her anxiety, especially when things are tough.

Hannah came to me a few months ago in tears. She had been looking at a children’s newspaper and had read about children who had been hurt in the earthquakes in Nepal. Hannah was distraught because (in her words) there was “nothing she can do about it.” We discussed how she could help, and donated some money online to the Nepal appeal. She went away a little happier.

A few days later we had a sit down chat about her brother Adam.  They truly are best friends, and because Hannah has never known any different, she takes Adam’s “differences” in her stride. Hannah is growing up though, and has many questions. She’s a clever girl and knows that there must be a reason for Adam’s condition. I tried my best to explain that Adam was poorly when he was born and that his brain can’t tell his body what to do very well. Her next question was “What can I do about it?”

She already does so much for Adam. She plays with him, hugs him and comforts him when he is poorly. She brings him toys, laughs with him and helps her Dad and me with his needs (bringing wipes, towels, fetching milk etc). I told her she was already the best sister Adam could ever ask for. Then Hannah saw an advert for Marie Curie tea parties on the television. Her mind was made up that she was going to host one. She asked me if there were lots of charities which needed help, and Hannah’s Helping Hand was created.

Yes, Hannah is helping others, and we are immensely proud,  but she also learning a lot about herself and the world around her. We hope it will help her self-confidence and show her that some things aren’t out of her control after all.

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