There are 49,000 children and young people in the UK living with a life-shortening condition – and the number is rising. The impact on families caring for a seriously ill child can be enormous, with an estimated 100,000 parents and 50,000 siblings affected. Many relationships suffer as a result with 36% experiencing family breakdown. Short breaks, provided by children’s hospice services, can be a lifeline to children and families.
That’s why UK charity Together for Short Lives is calling on the public to support Children’s Hospice Week to shine a light on children with life-shortening conditions and the services they need.
Children’s Hospice Week (23-29 May) is the UK’s only awareness and fundraising week for families caring for these seriously ill children and celebrating the organisations that support them. The week brings together the UK’s 53 children’s hospices and all the children’s palliative care charities providing vital care and support for children and families across the country.
This year Children’s Hospice Week focuses on families, with the theme ‘Time to put families first’. Children with life-shortening conditions often have complex and unpredictable health conditions, with families providing round the clock care, seven days a week. It can take its toll on the whole family and families struggle to spend quality time together. Together for Short Lives is calling on the government and public to help put families first so they can get the care and support they so desperately need.
Children’s Hospice Week this year is all about showing what life is really like for families caring for seriously ill childrenBarbara Gellb
Barbara Gelb OBE, CEO of Together for Short Lives explains how services, like children’s hospices, help families treasure their time together: “Children’s Hospice Week this year is all about showing what life is really like for families caring for seriously ill children. Caring for a child 24/7 can be exhausting, that’s why short breaks are so essential and can relieve some of the pressure on families and help them spend time together. Children’s palliative care services across the UK provide vital lifeline support to thousands of families so I hope the public will be inspired to support Children’s Hospice Week this year and help the 49,000 children and their families spend quality time together as a family.”
This year Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge has offered a supportive message for Children’s Hospice Week, as Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
Children’s hospice and palliative care charities across the UK provide vital care and support, helping families be families. They receive little government funding and rely on public support to continue their vital services for families across the UK. Together for Short Lives aims to ensure that services, like children’s hospices, are here to support families today and in the future, every step of the way.
Click here for more information on Children’s Hospice Week.
Click here for more information on the UK’s 53 children’s hospices and other services supporting families across the country.