At Helen & Douglas House, we’re here to help local families going through the unimaginable heartbreak of caring for and losing a terminally ill child. Our two hospices in Oxford provide a calm and homely place for families to create happy memories. We support the whole family at this desperately sad time, including parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents.
Supporting families emotionally through illness and bereavement
When a child or young adult is diagnosed with a terminal illness, everyone in the family is affected. From the initial devastating diagnosis, families face many practical and emotional challenges as their child’s illness progresses. It’s not surprising that they often feel overwhelmed by the difficult choices and decisions they have to make along the way.
Our Family Support and Bereavement Team is here to offer support for parents, partners and other family members right from the patient’s first stay at Helen & Douglas House and through to bereavement. We want families to feel cared for, whether they’re at our hospice houses or at home. Our team provides one-to-one or group support around the many issues of living with a terminally ill child and dealing with grief and loss.
“Helen & Douglas House still support us now. There is a sort of Thomas-shaped hole in our family and not a day goes by that we don’t miss him. Helen & Douglas House is the only organisation that understand that. They were there through the happy times, not just the sad times, and that is just as important now.” Cath, Thomas’ Mum
The practical help you need
We know how many practical considerations there are when you’re caring for a terminally ill child. Our Social Worker is here to help take away some of the stress by offering support with practicalities such as care packages and referrals. They’re also here to advise on benefits and charity grants, as well as supporting families who are making the transition from children’s to adult services.
Emotional support for parents
Our Peer to Peer support is there for recently bereaved parents, and it’s run by trained bereaved parent volunteers who’ve been through the heartbreaking loss of a child. Parents who’ve already received Peer to Peer support are warmly welcomed to join our Parent Support Group.
Our Bereaved Dads Group is another source of comfort for dads who’ve lost a child, whether recently or years ago. This welcoming community is a place where dads can share their experiences of grief and support each other.
Support for brothers and sisters
Seeing their sibling dealing with a terminal illness is incredibly difficult for the brothers and sisters of our patients. That’s why we have The Elephant Club, a support group for brothers and sisters of Helen House patients aged 6 to 17. It’s a place where children can share their experiences and get the emotional support they need. To find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get in touch if we can help
If you’re dealing with the challenges of caring for a terminally ill child, or you’re recently bereaved, contact our Family Support & Bereavement Team by emailing email@example.com or calling 01865 794749.
Support your local hospice
Your support means that families don’t have to face the unthinkable alone. Make a donation today and help bring care and comfort to families going through every parent’s worst nightmare.
“We were just normal everyday people and it happened to us and I thank every day that Helen & Douglas House was there for us. That is why if people have that £5 in their pocket, that’s where the money needs to go. Because you just never know what may happen round the corner.” Sarah, Ollie’s Mum