There are 99,000 children in the UK living with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness and this number is rising, with those from non-white British backgrounds who live in areas of the country with less opportunities being proportionately affected. We know that a huge number of families are falling through the gaps in services, with many unaware of what is available to them.
Thanks to Morrisons partnership fundraising, we are piloting a Community Outreach Project to connect with some of those communities and families who are caring for a seriously ill child, ensuring they have access to all children’s community palliative care services including those provided by their local children’s hospice.
As part of the project, we have employed three Community Outreach Workers – Lisa, Sajda and Lisa – who will work in their local communities to help families get access to the right support.
Meet Lisa N
Lisa is passionate and dedicated to helping families with seriously ill children. Hosted by Keech Hospice Care in Luton, she will be hosting events funded by the Morrisons partnership in her local area around Luton, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. When she’s not working, Lisa is a keen traveller and enjoys winding down with Yoga.
“I’m most excited and hopeful about helping families who might otherwise have been unaware of the vast scope of support which is available to them. The Together for Short Lives Family Support Hub offers emotional, practical, and financial support to families caring for a seriously ill child, and many families don’t know about it – and all of the other services that could support them.”
Sajda has two grown-up boys, loves cats and lives in Birmingham. She is hosted at Acorns children’s hospice, which she lives very near to, and can converse in a number of languages, including Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi. Sajda previously worked as a primary school teacher and has also had support worker roles in domestic abuse and women’s charities. She is passionate about empowering families from all faiths and helping them access all the palliative care services they need.
“This role enables me to be a bridge between families and the services that are available to them. I hope to be there alongside families on their journey, helping them navigate all the information and support they need – and help them be a family, not just carers.”
Meet Lisa F
Lisa is a wife and mother to two, and has a Cockerpoo called Bonnie. She loves to keep active and enjoys exploring her local area of Middleton and Heywood during her daily runs. Having previously worked for the NHS for 16 years in Physiotherapy services, this is a new and exciting role for Lisa, who has some personal experience of providing respite care for a family member.
“I’m excited to meet new people and work with organisations where we are all working together to achieve the common goal of supporting families and children. I am keen to raise awareness of the important work of Together for Short Lives and how we impact families affected.” Lisa is being hosted by Jolly Josh, a charity in Rochdale that provides support and safe spaces for children with complex needs and their families.
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: email@example.com or live chat: https://www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk/helpline