The values that drive us

We’re here to speak out for children and young people expected to have short lives. Everyone here at Together for Short Lives works with some key principles for all that we do to help us Values - Listening to familiesachieve this. This week we wanted to introduce you to our underlying values and show you how we’re putting them into practice.

1.) Starting first and foremost with putting families at the heart of everything we do. We listen to children, young people and families and our work is shaped by their experiences and needs.

A good example of this is our amazing Young Avengers group, who help us raise awareness of the issues surrounding transition from children’s to adult services. It’s so important that our work in this area is informed by young people and what really matters to them. You can find out more and get involved here.

2.) Connecting is so important – no one wants to feel alone and that is never more true than when caring for a seriously ill child. Families often tell us they feel isolated and that there aren’t many Values - Compassionate and responsivepeople that understand what they’re going through. We’re here to support families and are compassionate and caring about everything we do. We are open, honest and responsive… We’re here. We care.

“I felt listened to & useful support & advice was provided.”

Our free helpline is here for families and professionals caring for a child or young person who is expected to have a short life. If you have questions or want support, please contact our Together for Families Helpline on 0808 8088 100.

3.) Children’s palliative care should be everyone’s business. We can only achieve the best for families by working together and that’s why collaboration and partnerships are so important to us, as well as bringing people together to start those all-important conversations.

Values - Collaboration“It's lovely to read everyone's similar stories - it makes you not feel so alone.”

Having a seriously ill child can feel like quite an isolating experience – that’s why bringing families together is such a key part of our work. We’re always looking for new ways to connect families, whether that’s by sharing stories, being part of our community or even feeding into our reference groups.

We’ll soon be starting an new pilot to bring families together in a Facebook forum - to provide a supportive environment to speak to others and share support and advice about what it’s like to care for a child who has a life-limiting condition.

Values: Innovative and creative4.) To make life better for children and families we must embrace and encourage change. Here at Together for Short Lives we’re not afraid to challenge the status quo. We will always go the extra mile and explore new ways of working to deliver the very best for children, young people and families.

We’re proud to announce that our new animation has been shortlisted for a Digital Entrepreneur Award.

We are always looking for new and creative ways to tell families’ stories. It can be so difficult to explain the challenges that parents caring for a seriously ill child face every day – putting yourselves in others’ shoes can seem unimaginable. That’s why we produced ‘Through My Eyes’, taking a very personal look at one family’s journey.

Values - Passionate and determined5.) We are passionate, determined, and ambitious about helping children, young people and families to live as full lives as possible. We will not stop until every family gets the care, support and services that they need.

No one embodies our pledge to be passionate and determined in our mission to make lives better for children and families more than our fabulous fundraisers.

For example, our friends at Hobbycraft do an amazing job of fundraising for us throughout the year, including an annual walk. This year the intrepid trekkers walked the Two Moors Way, raising almost £18,000!

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