Having a terminally ill child means that you look for the magic in any moment you have together. We filmed some of the children who are regularly cared for at Helen House and asked them to paint their happiest memories.
Find out how you can help us create happy memories for local families of terminally ill children
Take a look at the full film to find out what Nathan, Finley, Violet, Rowan and Anthony love the most about coming to Helen & Douglas House.
Help us give families the greatest gift of all, time together
Please make a donation today and help bring comfort and support to families going through every parent’s worst nightmare. Every £ donated will make a big difference.
Sadly, when serious illness affects a child or a young adult, family life is turned upside down and time together becomes more precious than ever before.
A donation will help us to ensure families like Nathan’s have the chance to create those happy memories of their time together even if that time is short.
Meet our families – Nathan’s story
For 6-year-old Nathan and his family, coming to Helen & Douglas House means they are able to spend time together without having to worry about the care and support he needs, every day.
Nathan has a condition called Prader-Willi syndrome, which is caused by a genetic defect that happens purely by chance. It causes a wide range of problems, including learning difficulties, low muscle tone, uncontrollable appetite, and severe sleep issues.
Nathan lives in Oxfordshire with his mum and dad, Jenny and Stuart, and his three older siblings Craig, Leigh-Ann, and Kayleigh. After being referred to Helen & Douglas House by their community nursing team, the family have been visiting Helen House for two years.
Giving Nathan and his family the time and space to be together, supporting them and caring for Nathan, means they are able to share those moments that will become treasured memories.
“He gets 100% care at Helen House. The care he receives, both physically and emotionally, is brilliant.’ It gives him a break as well and he loves all the nurses and the playroom. It lets him be him, rather than having to worry about his medical needs.” – Jenny, Nathan’s Mummy
We can’t help families that need us without your help
The children and young adults who come to us at Helen House and Douglas House need us to help them face challenges every day of their short lives. But without your help we can’t give them the expert care and support they need as they live with a terminal illness.
It costs over £5 million a year to run both hospices, and 85% of this comes from people like you. As a charity, we rely on your support to keep our doors open. Every donation makes a big difference to the families of the children and young people we care for.
Your donations will help us create more happy memories for the families that need us
A home from home when you need it most
Helen & Douglas House helps local families cope with the challenges of looking after a terminally ill baby, child or young adult who will die prematurely. We care for and support them where they choose – at our hospices in Oxford or at home.
At Helen House, which was the world’s first children’s hospice, we care for babies and children aged from birth to 18. At Douglas House, we look after young adults aged from 16 to 35.
We help families create happy memories together
Helen & Douglas House is a home from home for local terminally ill children and their families. We provide round-the-clock care in a warm, loving environment. We’re a comforting cocoon filled with laughter. A peaceful place where families can create happy memories in their last days, weeks, months or years together.
Our Living Wall
Our Living Wall is featured in our new film and is an art wall for the hospice community.
It is an ever-evolving jigsaw canvas which encourages children to express themselves and be part of something bigger and fun!
Every child and family can have a piece of the jigsaw, and decorate it however they wish. The piece is displayed on the wall, before being photographed and shown on digital photo frames next to the Living Wall.
After about 4 months the jigsaw piece can be taken home, or we can recycle it for the next family.
This marvellous project has been made possible by funds from Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and the Burdett Trust for Nursing. The project is part of the Marvellous Nurse Inventing Room programme where 12 teams, led by children’s nurses, across the UK are working on innovation projects, with the aim of helping children and young people to be happier not just healthier.