The Sophie Rolf Trust, KissyPuppy

The Sophie Rolf Trust, Kissy Puppy
Bembridge Harbour's Nominated Charity

Beautiful little Sophie Rolf lost her valiantly fought battle against an inoperable brain tumour at the end of 2013 when she was just 6 years old.   Her KissyPuppy fund was initially set up to support Sophie and her family, helping with travel costs to the mainland, equipment and creating magical experiences and memories. 

Sophie's journey, through treatment including neuro and central line surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, numerous MRI, CT scans and many other tests, highlighted to her family the limited healthcare options available on the Isle of Wight for children with life shortening conditions. There was no specialist children's hospice on the Island - respite and end of life care was a 3 hour journey away in Winchester. 

Early on in her treatment, Sophie decided she wanted to help other children and that's exactly what she did.  Within a few months, her smile, positivity and enduring spirit had led to £10,000 being raised for a first project - a designated area within the Island's Earl Mountbatten Hospice (EMH) for children and their families.  Towards the end of her short life, Sophie opened the Children's Rooms at the Hospice and had already started on her next project - a playground within the grounds.

Sophie's courageous family pledged to continue what she started.  Their registered charity, The Sophie Rolf Trust - KissyPuppy, joined forces with the Mountbatten Hospice, local NHS and the Community Nursing Team to help support, develop and improve existing provision on the Island for children and their families. 

Their achievements include the initial funding of the Hospice rooms including specialised medical equipment, the children's playground, funding a Schools Project (involving primary schools visiting the Hospice, educating children and parents, and hopefully altering any misconceptions they may have).  Funding, should the Hospice rooms be needed, comes solely from the charity and for one child/family can cost in excess of £20,000.  

In 2016 funding was provided for a new Island-wide Bereavement Service - aimed at children and young adults, but assisting anyone affected by bereavement in any way.  A specially adapted vehicle was also purchased to enable the respite nurses to take children out and about without relying on NHS or EMH vehicles.

Their current project is to raise £300,000 towards the total of £1.5 million needed to refurbish Oak House at the Mountbatten Hospice.  This care co-ordination centre will focus on catering for specific groups and needs, and will have a bespoke children's area.

Since 2017, with the help of Harbour users and visitors, we have raised over £21,000.  Fundraising in 2020 was curtailed by the Covid-19 Pandemic but in 2021, despite several events being cancelled for the same reason, we managed to raise over £4,000, with grateful thanks to all those who helped us support this wonderful charity, and to everyone who continues to support our fundraising efforts. 

Thank you so much - Fiona 

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