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Last Updated: 2015.03.06

Japan's First Community-Supported Hospice for Children to Launch in Osaka

UNIQLO Co., Ltd.
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The Children's Hospice Project (CHP), The Nippon Foundation, and UNIQLO CO., LTD., today announce plans for TSURUMI Children's Hospice, Japan's first community-supported hospice for children with life-threatening conditions. Free of charge and run by volunteers using donations, it offers medical, educational, and childcare resources, as well as respite care services. Volunteers include medical practitioners, nurses, school teachers, and nursery staff. By opening parts to the public, it aims for patients and local children to play together, to create a local community and feeling of home for the children and their families, while eliciting understanding and support amongst the general public.

The TSURUMI Children's Hospice offers playrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and accommodation for children and their families, in 979.11 square meters of floor space over two floors, on a 2,000 square meter property. It is planned for the Tsurumi Ryokuchi Flower Expo Memorial Park, in Osaka's Tsurumi Ward (707, Hama 1-chome, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka). Construction starts in mid-March 2015, with plans to open in December.

In Japan, around 200,000 children aged 15 and under suffer from such incurable illnesses as cerebral palsy and pediatric cancer. Medical advances extend and save lives, and the number of children with grave afflictions requiring intensive care is growing, creating a challenge for their families. In 2012, the CHP proposed to UNIQLO's Clothes for Smiles program a Japanese version of Helen & Douglas House Children's hospice - the first such facility, launched in Oxford, U.K., in 1982. It became one of eight initiatives that UNIQLO chose to support from among more than 700 proposed from around the world under its Clothes for Smiles program. UNIQLO and The Nippon Foundation, which supports the CHP, agreed to jointly fund the construction and operation of the hospice, and in 2014 the Osaka City Government approved the CHP's proposal to build on a property in Tsurumi Ryokuchi.

The Children's Hospice Project - Children's hospices are relatively new to Japan. The Children's Hospice Project draws on the experience of the Helen & Douglas House in the U.K. to promote the creation of children's hospices in Japan. In collaboration with hospitals and home care support organizations, the CHP supports education, visits and travel, and bereaved families.

Helen & Douglas House - Helen House (now Helen & Douglas House) opened in 1982 in Oxford, U.K., as the world's first children's hospice. Similar facilities sprang up in many countries, including Canada, Australia, Germany, and the United States. Children's hospices serve children with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses, as well as their siblings and parents. Volunteer medical, welfare, and educational experts serve children as friends during their remaining time. Donations from local companies and individuals finance running costs. Hospice usage is free of charge.
Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmLHlCqeKDs#t=12

The Nippon Foundation's support for children with life-threatening conditions - The Nippon Foundation has collaborated with nonprofit organizations and healthcare experts since 2011 to provide facilities and assistance to optimize the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and their families. To date, the foundation has supported eight projects for seven organizations, including building special facilities for pediatric cancer patients, so they receive chemotherapy treatment in homey surroundings, and refurbishing respite facilities so terminally ill children and their families can spend more time together. The foundation's support has covered 20 projects for eight organizations, at a total cost of around 1.4 billion yen. Initiatives have included camps for children with life-threatening conditions and their families, recreation for hospitalized children, promotion of understanding of these children, and the creation of networks of support staff.

The foundation has assisted the Children's Hospice Project since 2011, enabling it to offer respite service visits, learning and play opportunities for terminally ill children, travel assistance for children and their families, and workshops for physicians and nursing professionals.
Visit the following website to find out how to support TSURUMI Children's Hospice.
Note: All figures are as of March 6, 2015.

UNIQLO Clothes for Smiles - This project aims to give children around the world a better future. Launched in October 2012, this initiative was developed by UNIQLO and UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassador Novak Djokovic, based on a fund of 1 billion yen (about US$10 million) raised from the sale of HEATTECH and Ultra-Light Down products in Fall/Winter 2012. The project has two main programs, each with allocations of 500 million yen. One program accepts ideas from around the world on giving children better tomorrows. The second supports efforts to improve children's education around the world under a global alliance with the United Nations Children's Fund. The first program has chosen eight projects from 739 ideas received from 46 countries. Seven projects implemented to date have included one to provide children in Serbian refugee centers with opportunities to enjoy shopping.
Visit the following website for details of Clothes for Smiles. http://clothesforsmiles.uniqlo.com/en/


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