Tag Archives: children’s hospice

Fṛm Đ Gardịn: Amid the Covid-19 crisis, I keep thinking about the children in our hospices

Benjamin Zephaniah
Benɉmin Zef̣naia

Amd ɖ Covid-19 crîsis, I cīp ʈncñ abt ɖ ćildṛn in ǎr hosṗsz

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 18 May 2020)

I’m inspîrd bî a Wst Midḷndz ćaṛti, bt ǎr cḿṇti’s most vulnṛbl membrz r biyñ hit ɖ hardist

Benɉmin Zef̣naia, Munde, 18 Me 2020

‘I can’t stop thinking about the elderly and the infirm, the young and vulnerable, the homeless, the families caring for a seriously ill baby or child. Photograph: Simon Reynell
‘I c’nt stop ʈncñ abt ɖ eldrli n ɖ infrm, ɖ yuñ n vulnṛbl, ɖ homlis, ɖ faṃliz cẹrñ fr a sirịsli il bebi or ćîld. Foṭgraf: Sîmn Rênél

Last Dsmbr I viẓtd a ćaṛti ɖt z vri clos t mî hart: Ecornz ćildṛn’z hospis.

I hd ɖ priṿlij v ćatñ, telñ storiz n rīdñ sm v mî powtri t an insṗreśnl grūp v ćildṛn n faṃliz. N ɖe pformd sm v ɖer powtri fr m.

I hv ovr ɖ past 10 yirz met mni ćildṛn n yuñ ppl yzñ ɖ srṿsz v ɖs Wst Midḷndz ćaṛti. W hv śerd ǎr luv fr powtri, tōct abt ɖ importns v cẹrñ fr ol livñ biyñz, n ǎr luv v cec, ḿzic n Astn Vila ftbōlclub.

I am so inspîrd bî ɖ cidz, n I olso hv an inorṃs amǎnt v rspct fr ɖ ppl hu wrc ɖr. I wont t hug n cis ɖm, I wont t tel ɖm hǎ mć I luv ɖm, bt I jst act norml.

Nt onli d ɖe cer fr ɖz cidz, sm v hūm r nt xpctd t rīć adulthd; ɖe olso lc aftr ɖer mumz, dadz, bruɖrz n sistrz, īvn granpeṛnts. Ɖ xistns v ćildṛn’z hosṗsz z smʈñ mni v s fīl uncumftbl wɖ – most ppl tnd t asośiet hosṗsz wɖ oldr ppl. I wz wn v ɖm, untl I frst viẓtd.

Ɖoz wrcñ n voḷntirñ ɖr d evrʈñ ɖe cn t mc speśl meṃriz fr ɖ ćildṛn n ɖer faṃliz. I hv rerli bn t a ples ẃr luv, hapinis n jô wr so abundnt. I hv nvr flt a hint v dūm or glūm.

‘We have shared our love of cake, music and Aston Villa football club.’ Benjamin Zephaniah at Acorns. Photograph: Acorns Children’s Hospice
‘W hv śerd ǎr luv v cec, ḿzic n Astn Vila ftbōl club.’ Benɉmin Zef̣naia at Ecornz. Foṭgraf: Ecornz Ćildṛn’z Hospis

I’m nt wn v ɖoz hu cōl ɖz tîmz wird, strenj, dificlt or unpresdntd. Ɖe r, bt I’m a vīgn, animlrîtist n invîrnmntlist, so I ʈt a crîsis sć az ɖs hd t hapn at sm tîm. Bt sins ɖ start v ɖs pandemic, Ecornz’ 600 or so ćildṛn n yuñ ppl hv bn on mî mînd. I am tld most v ɖ faṃliz r śīldñ ɖer ćildṛn at hom, unḍstanḍbli dwñ evrʈñ t avôd ɖm biyñ infctd wɖ c’roṇvîṛs.

It wz sd ɖt ɖ ilnis z jenṛli mîld in ćildṛn, bt ɖr z nǎ evidns ɖt ćildṛn cn b afctd in wez ɖ xprts r onli bginñ t unḍstand. Ɖs hoṛfîz m. W ol nǒ ɖ riscs fr adults wɖ sirịs unḍlayñ hlʈ iśuz, bt ẃt abt ćildṛn n yuñ ppl? Wɖ ɖ imrjns v a “Caẉsaci”-lîc Covid-19-linct dziz, I cn onli imajin hǎ dificlt it z fr ɖz faṃliz. Ɖe hv t pṛtct ɖer preśs ćildṛn ẃn srṿsz ɖe rlî on r no longr aveḷbl, n ẃn ɖe r cut of fṛm so mni ppl hu’v bn part v ɖer s’portnetwrc.W’r ol bginñ t nǒ mor abt ẃt z haṗnñ in adult cerhomz, bt I wundr ẃt z haṗnñ t ćildṛn’z hosṗsz ol ovr ɖ cuntri.

At Ecornz’ ʈri hosṗsz, membrz v ɖ public r trnñ p evri fy minits wɖ carlodz v dneśnz. W’r luci t hv sć a gvñssayti hir in ɖ YC.

Ɖ staf r olso rīćñ ǎt t faṃliz ʈru reğlr cōlz, letñ ɖm nǒ ɖe r nt alon at ɖs scẹri tîm.

Ovr ɖ cors v ɖs globl imrjnsi ɖr hv bn tîmz ẃn w hv sìn ɖ vîṛs infct ɖ rić n feṃs, pǎrfl n influenśl, n humbl wrld līdrz. Bt az wɖ ol imrjnsiz, it’s ɖ most vulnṛbl membrz v ǎr cḿṇti hu gt hit ɖ hardist.

I hv jst sînd a letr adrest t Boris Jonsn cōlñ fr an indipndnt public inqîri intu ɖ dispṛporśṇt impact v Covid-19 on blac n eʈnic mnoṛti cḿṇtiz, bcz fr m ɖs z riyl. I’v lost tū membrz v mî faṃli, n anɖr cupl hv cm clos t ɖ éj.

I c’nt stop ʈncñ abt ɖ cidz at Ecornz. I c’nt stop ʈncñ abt ɖ eldrli n ɖ infrm, ɖ yuñ n vulnṛbl, ɖ homlis, ɖ faṃliz cẹrñ fr a sirịsli il bebi or ćîld.

Wns ɖs teṛbl ćaptr cmz t an end, ẃt wl ɖ nxt ćaptr hv in stor? I wd lîc t ʈnc w wl rten ɖ stroñ sns v cmpaśn n cḿṇti ɖt hz bn so in evidns jrñ ɖs crîsis, n trî t trn ǎr bacs on dviźn, depṛveśn n iniqoḷti. Ɖt’s nt tù mć t asc fr, z it?

Benɉmin Zef̣naia z a powt

Instroduction to Ñspel