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We celebrate launch of Roald Dahl charity’s family programme

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Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity today announced that it will be funding 13 innovative projects to help make life better for seriously ill children. At a launch event in London, the charity showcased the new projects, which all intend to pioneer new ways to help whole families cope emotionally with the effects of having a child with a chronic illness or disability.

Some projects on the two-year Family Resilience Programme concentrate on a particular stage of the family’s journey such as diagnosis, treatment or a life-changing event. For example, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity is working in partnership with Together for Short Lives to help terminally ill young people and their carers to have more open conversations about dying, death and bereavement.

Families caring for a seriously ill child particularly need emotional resilience to deal with a range of feelings including anger, guilt, sadness and blame. This new programme will stimulate creative responses to the question of why some families are more resilient than others when faced with these feelings and with the challenges – and privileges – of caring for a child or young person with a serious long-term illness.

The desire to stimulate creativity and be inventive runs deep in our veins here at the charity and that’s why I’m so excited about our Family Resilience Programme. Roald Dahl’s stories are full of crazy inventions. Many worked, such as Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstoppers, while some didn’t quite go to plan, such as George’s marvellous medicine which turned his grandma into a giant chicken! While Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity steers clear of made-up medicines, each one of our family resilience projects will create new learning about how to help families to thrive when faced with situations in which any of us would struggle

Richard Piper, CEO of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity

At the launch workshop, special guest speaker Dr Kate Oulton, from the Centre for Nursing and Allied Health Research at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, said:

“Despite the challenges many families of seriously ill and disabled children face in their everyday life, some show a resounding ability to cope with their situation and adopt a positive outlook that can lead to personal transformation. This programme gives much-needed recognition to the fact that the lives of these families do not have to be dominated by stress and sorrow.”

Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity hopes that the emphasis of this two year programme on finding inventive and practical strategies will help contribute to the growing knowledge of which particular interventions work for different family members at specific times. The charity will champion the most promising new approaches to encourage them to be widely used by other people and organisations across charity, health and social care sectors, in order to help as many children and families as possible.

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