Paralympian visits Naomi House

British wheelchair tennis player, Peter Norfolk OBE, visited Naomi House recently, looking at the facilities at the hospice and getting a feel for the happy and memorable place that the children and their families stay in.

After a motorbike accident left Peter paraplegic, he decided to start playing tennis and took to the courts in a wheelchair.

As member of the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme, Peter has since won multiple Grand Slam and Super Series titles across the globe.

He is also a Paralympic gold medallist, having won the quad singles at the Athens and Beijing Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008. He won his third successive Paralympic quad doubles medal, a silver, at London 2012.

Peter’s determination at overcoming the struggles of life in a wheelchair is something which resonated as he visited and spoke to the children and staff at Naomi House.

Katy Burton, who leads the Play Team at the hospice, said

“It was a real treat for the children to meet an inspirational and hugely successful Paralympian such as Peter Norfolk. Peter was great with the kids and young people staying at the hospice and they, along with their families, will take away some wonderful memories from his visit.”

Peter Norfolk said:

“I was given a wonderful, warm welcome at Naomi House by the staff, children and their families and it was an honour to visit them.

My wife Linda and I have two young children and it was an inspiration for me to witness at first hand the difference that the quality of facilities at Naomi House makes to the families.”

The two purpose-built hospices, Naomi House and jacksplace, are run by the Wessex Children’s Hospice Trust and are the only hospices offering a 24/7, 365 days a year service for children, young people and their families living in Hampshire.

It costs around £5 million a year to provide these services. With less than 15% of income coming from Government and other statutory bodies and no formal agreements for funding in place with any Hampshire Primary Care Trust or Local Authority, the charity is reliant on the generosity of local people and businesses to generate the income needed to sustain services.

To learn more about Naomi House and the work it does for children with life-limiting illnesses, please visit www.naomihouse.org.uk.

Ray Turner

Formerly a Civil-Servant and IT Specialist at ONS, Ray is now semi-retired and spare-time self-employed. He contributes to Eastleigh News on a voluntary basis and is also an administrator for the site. 

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