Very Special Kids celebrates World Hospice Day

For World Hospice Day, Victoria’s only children’s hospice Very Special Kids celebrated with a range of art, music and pet therapy activities.

Many chronically ill children who stay at Very Special Kids Hospice cannot communicate verbally or have difficulties hearing, seeing, moving or responding. The impact of art, music and pet therapy on these children is extremely beneficial.

On-site Musical Therapist Amy Howden says “today we created some fun and colourful ‘wheelchair art’ on a large canvas and the kids danced on the art and played musical instruments to their favourite songs.”

“The opportunity to be an active participant in a shared musical experience can be powerful for these children who are severely disabled and find it difficult to take part in many activities.  For them, music is their voice.”

On-site Art Therapist Svetlana Bykovec agrees, “the transformation I see in children through participating in art activities is incredible. For many of these children it’s the only way they can express themselves.”

The Music Therapy program has been running at Very Special Kids Hospice since 2001, Art Therapy was introduced in 2015 and Pet Therapy has only just been introduced this year. All three programs are now an integral part of a child’s stay at Very Special Kids Hospice.

Very Special Kids Hospice Manager Sue Kearney says “World Hospice Day is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of the very important work we do in Victoria.”

Very Special Kids supports more than 900 families across Victoria who are caring for children with life-threatening conditions. We provide 24-hour nursing care at Victoria’s only children’s hospice, as well as professional support services for their families.