Order of St. Lazarus
The Grand Priory of Great Britain
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Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice

Charity Support Project

Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice

After research and reflection, the Order of St Lazarus has selected the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice as one of local projects to be supported by British members of the Order, hospices being the foundation of our charitable tradition. The Hospice provides a 'community palliative care service' for children and their families in South Yorkshire, North East Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of North Lincolnshire. Whilst the annual costs of running the Hospice are high, OSLJ will provide funding for specific events/equipment/projects - such as funding the annual 'Siblings' Day Out'.

The Hospice requires £2.5 million each year to run and only receives 5% of that from the Government. Although not overtly Christian, the Hospice has a room for quiet reflection and prayer that is non-denominational.

Bluebell Woods provides care for over 200 children and families suffering from life limiting and life threatening conditions. The 8 children's rooms and 7 family rooms allow the Hospice to provide specialist care - from sensory, music and hydrotherapy. As well as the 'hospice at home service' which allows the care team to go into children's homes to provide one to one care or appropriate support. For more information see http://www.bluebellwood.org/

The Burkina Faso Project

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world and suffers from severe problems of functioning effectively. It is a landlocked West African country, north of Ghana and formerly known as the Republic of Upper Volta. There are no valuable and natural resources to be exploited in the country and 90% of the population work in some form of agriculture and raising cattle. But agricultural activity is constantly threatened by drought. This is exacerbated by the scarcity of agricultural land, (18% of the total territory), which is situated mainly in the south of the country, creating an increasing burden of poverty. Closely linked with these problems is a progressive degradation of the climate, growing desertification of the scarce productive land. Frequent droughts and the increasing population migration from the country to the cities further complicate these difficulties.

Moreover, there is a continuing severe epidemic of measles in the country, mainly amongst children under 5 years old, and malaria is endemic. These major economic, climatic and health problems are exacerbated by a lack of basic sanitation, environmental and personal hygiene, dysfunctional management systems, illiteracy, ignorance and a lack of community participation in managing health problems.

The Order of St Lazarus's involvement in providing positive and sustainable aid to Burkina Faso was inspired by Chevalier Giovanni Ferrara GCLJ, Grand Prior of Italy, after seeing a TV documentary on the country. An aid project was subsequently developed by the Italian Grand Priory's National Hospitaller Dr Nella Bucciero, as a joint Italian and French venture.

The aims of the Order of St Lazarus Burkina Faso Project are the construction of a health centre with diagnostic equipment, a dispensary, a section for general surgery, in-patient care and first aid, together with a school of nursing. It is hoped to complete the project by 2012. At the same time, the project also identifies a need to educate the population into a healthy culture of hygiene.