Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

Meet Lisa: How being a mum impacts her role as a Community Outreach Worker

News and comment

There are an estimated 99,000 seriously ill children in the UK, a number that continues to rise. Many families of these children, lost in the system, are unaware of the support available to them. Thanks to the Morrisons partnership, our Community Outreach Project was launched in Spring 2023, bringing onboard Lisa. This pivotal move aims to reach more families with a seriously ill child, ensuring they receive the vital support they need and are connected to their local children’s hospice.

Lisa is a dedicated mother of two boys who is passionate about her role as Community Outreach Worker. She enjoys connecting with families in the Greater Manchester area and helping them access the help they need. She runs regular coffee and connect sessions in the local area to connect with families, and sets up outreach days so that families have the opportunity to make precious memories.

How being a mother impacts Lisa’s role

“It’s impossible for me to put myself in the shoes of the families I work with because thinking of my own children being seriously ill or passing away at a young age is unimaginable. However, knowing what the love of a parent is like is part of what pushes me to provide the best support I can so that I can make life slightly easier for the families I meet.

“At the coffee and connect sessions, I meet families face to face and familiarise myself with them on a more personal basis. Sometimes when they are looking to access something new, I can place myself nearby or accompany them to make it that little bit easier to take that step.

It’s hard for families to admit they need help when they’re already in a vulnerable position.

“Being able to take the pressure off and be a person that they’re able to connect with just really helps the process of applying for grant applications. I can really understand how it would benefit them and help them.

“It’s hard for families to admit they need help when they’re already in a vulnerable position.”

“Being a mother and having my boys to talk about helps parents to open up about their own struggles because it provides a common ground.”

Inspirational mums: Morgan’s story

“There’s a mum called Morgan who has an almost two-year-old, and I often think about the profound strength she has shown. When her daughter, Flo, was born, she knew there was a problem, but her GP didn’t believe her and instead prescribed Morgan antidepressants. She went back to her local doctor’s surgery many times, but it wasn’t until after Flo experienced a medical episode that resulted in a visit to the hospital that Morgan’s concerns were investigated.

“A scan found that Flo has calcification of the brain among other complications and Flo was put onto end of life, with the expectation being that she had a matter of weeks to live. At this point, she was discharged to Derian House Children’s Hospice.

Morgan is an amazing person, she has so much determination to do the absolute best for her daughter.

“However Flo defeated odds and is now at home with her mum, Morgan and dad, Sam. Nobody knows how long they have together, but they are enjoying every precious moment together as a family.

“Since the family were discharged from Derian House, we have had a lot of involvement with them to help them access the support they need and make the most of the precious time they have with Flo.

Mum with Baby

“One key memory of this family for me is when Flo had her hands and feet casted. It is such a privilege to be a part of these memory making moments for families. They also attended the Cockfields Farm Outreach day, which was a wonderful opportunity for families to make precious memories and meet others who may understand their situation a little more.

“Morgan is an amazing person, she has so much determination to do the absolute best for her daughter.”

What Lisa has learnt from the families she’s met

“Parents and carers of seriously ill children are absolute experts when it comes to their child’s condition. The skills and knowledge that they possess is phenomenal. They have to be constantly switched on, always aware of what is going on with their child and ready to tend to their needs. They know their children inside out, and don’t get me wrong, mothers all know their children inside out but for them it is another level.

“I’ve also learnt that deep down most of the families I meet are open to help, even if they seem hesitant to begin with. I’m so thankful for every parent that I meet because they teach me something and I learn to adapt my style, so that I can be even better at my job going forward.

I have learnt so much from the phenomenal strength and resilience of the mums I have met.

“For example, one thing I have found is that the parents and carers I meet love having normal conversations with me, and I know people are sometimes nervous to do this with a family who has a seriously ill child or is bereaved but they just love being able to have an everyday conversation, it is a bit of normality for them.

“On a more personal note, I have learnt to celebrate the little wins of my children so much more after working with so many families that won’t get to do the same. I have also learnt so much from the phenomenal strength and resilience of the mums I have met.

Cockfields family day out

If you are a family caring for a seriously ill child and need support, please get in touch with our family support hub team. You can call: 0808 8088 100, open Monday – Friday 9am to 4pm, email: or live chat using the button above.

Annie Williamson is our Morrisons Partnership Communications Manager – if you’re in Morrisons over the next few weeks look out for the Easter Giving Bunny and get involved in supporting the incredible family support that the Partnership enables.

Leave a comment