St. Petersburg Hospice celebrates its 20th anniversary
St. Petersburg Hospice for Children and Adults celebrates its 20th anniversary
The celebration took place on Children’s Day, June 1, at the hospice on Babushkina Street
More than 400 guests gathered at the celebration, including patients, families, staff, volunteers, donors, partners, prominent city residents, and representatives of the city administration.
“Over the past twenty years, we have helped thousands of children live a full life with dignity and without pain, despite their illnesses,” said the founder, Alexander Tkachenko. “Hundreds of palliative care specialists, for whom the hospice is a familiar workplace, have received training in St. Petersburg. The words ‘palliative care,’ ‘hospice,’ and ‘young adults’ have ceased to be something unfamiliar and frightening.”
The guests were welcomed by the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly, Alexander Belsky, and deputies Pavel Krupnik and Alexander Rzhanenkov. A firework display of colourful paper confetti signalled the start of the celebration. Thematic interactive areas inspired by the fairy tale “Through the Looking-Glass” were set up, including an express hairdressing salon, face painting, games, creative workshops, and a petting zoo. Performances by artists took place.
Natalya Frolovskaya, the mother of Alexey, a patient at the hospice, shared her thoughts on the celebration:
“We were delighted to see familiar faces. We miss the hospice; we can’t do without it. The staff understand us. Here, everyone has their own little island, everyone can find their place. Some may seek lively fun in the play area, while others engage in creativity and meticulously decorate gingerbread cookies. Familiarity binds us all together, and we have become friends, and in a way, even a family.”
About the St. Petersburg Hospice for Children and Adults
Over 20 years of operation, the institution has:
- established 4 stationary palliative care units, including the first paediatric hospice and the only hospice for terminally ill young adults (18 to 35 years old) in the country;
- assisted over 1,600 people from St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast through palliative medical care in hospice units and at home;
- made 35,000 home visits in St. Petersburg, and 4,000 in the Leningrad Oblast through their mobile service specialists;
- provided over 800 social and psychological consultations a year;
- organised over 500 social and holiday events for patients and their families;
- fulfilled the dreams of 3,500 children with incurable diseases from 40 regions of Russia through the “Dreams Come True” project.
Since the establishment of the Paper Bird foundation in 2003, there has been active development in the palliative care system in Russia, particularly at the St. Petersburg Hospice for Children and Adults. The first state institution for paediatric palliative care was opened 13 years ago, on June 1 2010: the children’s hospice on Babushkina Street.
Today, the St. Petersburg Hospice for Children and Adults represents an effective model of collaboration between three organisations: the St. Petersburg State Autonomous Healthcare Institution Hospice (paediatric and adult) and CSOs Paper Bird and Children’s and Adult’s Hospice.
The collaboration between the state institution and non-profit organisations enables timely responses to all the needs of families, ensuring high-quality palliative medical care for children and young adults with incurable diseases.
Translated by: Spencer Michaels