Celebrating moments and special festivals like Diwali are even more important to families caring for a seriously ill child. When time’s short, there is no time to waste. Families with a life-limiting child need to make the most of every moment, creating memories in the time they have together, whether that’s years, months or just hours.
“Diwali, is predominantly about light over darkness, but we also celebrate knowledge over ignorance in our celebrations. The knowledge that having a child with an illness isn’t a curse or a result of our actions is never far from our thoughts. But there is light when she plays with her brothers, and giggles when she watches Peppa Pig.” Nita, mum to Rana.
For our family, Diwali is an inclusive sensory celebration where my daughter, Rana, who has a rare neurological disorder, can truly be involved.Nita Singh
Lighten up someone’s day
Thanks to our corporate partner Surya Foods, a number of children’s hospices were sent meaningful gifts for Diwali to give to Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist families caring for a seriously ill child who celebrate the festival.
“We were so excited to receive these donations! Our Play & Activities team already had Diwali themed activates planned for our children so the plush and chocolate Elephants will help greatly. We were able to give some of them to a local school, which will help raise both awareness of Diwali and also awareness of our cause in our local community. Thank you!”– Derian House children’s hospice
And at the Chorlton Morrisons store in Manchester, families were also given the chocolate elephants and plushy toys in the hope to ‘light up their day.’ Families met with our Helpline support workers who are part of new community outreach pilot to reach more families caring for a seriously ill child. The project is being funded through our charity partnership with supermarket giant Morrisons and will be piloted in three areas in the UK.
There are 99,000 children living with a life-limiting illness in the UK and the number is rising, with families from black and minority ethnic backgrounds disproportionally affected. Together for Short Lives is the only charity supporting the UK’s children’s hospices and families facing the heartbreak that their child will die young. Through partnerships like Surya Foods and Morrisons, we are able to connect with more families across communities and help increase the access to children’s hospices and other vital children’s palliative care services for anyone who needs it.
We wish everyone who celebrates Diwali a blessed time that brings prosperity and joy to you and all your family.
If you are a family that cares for a seriously ill child, or you know someone that does, please get in touch through our helpline on 0808 8088 100, Monday-Friday 9am-4pm. Our online Family Support Hub provides emotional, practical and financial support to families right from the point of diagnosis through to the end of a child’s life, with support accessible in languages like Urdu and Pothwari.