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Kian’s Story

5 September 2013

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On behalf of Kian we just want to take this opportunity to thank Doncaster Rovers FC for their continued support they offer Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

The title pretty much sums up the major factors in Kian’s life. Kian is a Season Ticket holder for the mighty Red Army he is also one of the lucky children to be able to access Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, yes I do mean lucky. The Hospice is limited to the number of children it is able to offer support to which is why Kian is one of the ‘lucky’ ones.

Kian was one of the first children to use Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, or the House to be specific, previous to the opening of the House we had the home care service and from the first day the support has been unbelievable. Kian has a condition called Lissencephaly, epilepsy and cerebral palsy. This means he can’t talk or walk he also has difficulty eating food but is able to eat pureed food.

Despite Kian’s limitations he is a happy sociable boy, who has a continual smile on his face, he absolutely loves football, especially Doncaster Rovers. However, he has very specific medical needs, which can sometimes be exhausting for our family. Kian often only has 2 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, which leaves us with no sleep, and shattered. Because of his condition, it’s difficult for our extended family to care for him, and that’s where Bluebell Wood comes in. 

The staff at Bluebell Wood are our extended family, Bluebell Wood offers so much more than respite care for us and Kian. They don’t just focus on the child; it’s about the whole family. 

The support the Hospice offers not only to Kian but all of the Family is, well, it’s beyond words. Kian’s brothers Dan and Callum also attend the Bluebell Wood sibling groups, where they get together with other siblings from the Hospice. These monthly groups take the kids out to special places, giving them fantastic opportunities which we couldn’t do otherwise. It enables the siblings to be part of the Hospice were the focus is fun.

Bluebell Wood is a lifeline for our family; if it wasn’t there it would be like losing a family member.

Currently the cost or running the Hospice and offering the support to families is in excess of £3 million a year, the only revenue the Hospice receives is from fund raising, the Hospice gets no help with any running costs from any Government agencies which to me is beyond belief.

The Hospice cannot function without the help and generosity of individuals, companies and organisations. This is where we would like to thank Doncaster Rovers for their help and support.

Recently Rovers signed a player on a non-contract basis, namely Louis Tomlinson of One Direction, who ever thought this up to me is an absolute genius. Louis is a patron of Bluebell Wood and is using his fame to promote the profile of the Hospice and help generate funds. I know Louis is touched by the support that the Hospice offer to families. Louis also supports his local football team and on this occasion is using his fame to promote and generate funds for our Club.

In the recent past Rovers have kindly let Bluebell Wood have bucket collections around the ground, which generates hundreds of pounds for the Hospice, which is excellent on the grounds that we are not the most watched football team, but when you add the name of one of the world’s biggest band members to the list of players then the numbers of visitors multiply which in turn multiplies the revenue, Genius. What would normally be hundreds of pounds turns into thousands of pounds not just for the Hospice but for the club. To put into context if the club generates £10,000 for the hospice that’s equivalent to 1 days operating cost for the Hospice 

We are passionate for both the Hospice and Rovers, for me, Kian, our family and the rest of the families that use Bluebell Wood the introduction of Louis Tomlinson to the squad list is a win win situation. 

We cannot wait for the reserve game in which Louis will be taking part, not only for the funds that will be raised but maybe to see the stadium full and making lots of noise.   

A Big Thank You to everyone associated with Doncaster Rovers FC for the support you continue to provide for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, without you and others Kian would not be able to access the level of support, which he receives

Kian Critchley 




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