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Sophie’s story: Our respite care gives parents some much needed space

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“Many of the families we support don’t get a break from 24/7 caring”

Sophie has been a nurse for 12 years and always knew she wanted to work in children’s palliative care. Hear from her in her own words about her role as Team Nurse at Julia’s House Children’s Hospice:

“Many people think that Julia’s House is a place where we are always caring for children who are at the end of their life and dying and that it is a very sad and distressing place to work. But the reality is actually very different. It is a place where we help children and families make the most of their time together, even though it may be limited.

My job is really different for each family, I do not see it as a one size fits all approach. When we initially meet with families, we begin by working out what specific needs they have, then tailor our care to meet these needs.

Many of the families we support do not get a break from 24/7 caring, so often it’s giving them the time to have a two-hour nap, sit down and have a cup of tea or play with a sibling.

We often take for granted what it means to have a small break, our families don’t get a break and may not have had one for a considerable period of time.

Our respite care gives parents some much needed space, knowing their child is being safely looked after. It allows parents to ‘just breathe’ a little bit and have some time to themselves or just do something every day and practical like put on a load of washing, while their child is in safe hands.

Families are often holding their breath the rest of the time, running a family home with all its pressures and demands.”

Families caring for children with a life-limiting condition are pushed to their limits. Our children’s hospices must never be pushed to theirs.

Together for Short Lives delivers national corporate partnerships that raise funds for all 54 children’s hospices, supporting every single community in the UK.

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