Family Support

We support the whole family at this desperately sad time, including parents, brothers, and sisters.

Family Support

We support the whole family at this desperately sad time, including parents, brothers, and sisters.

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 hospice in Oxford provides 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 baby or child 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


We would normally hold a Remembrance and Thanksgiving Service for our bereaved families here at Helen & Douglas House, but again this year due to the continuing effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, we have made another Remembrance and Thanks Giving film to share with families.

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.

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 for young siblings aged 6 to 11 years old and an Adolescent Sibling Group for those aged 12 to 17 years old. It’s a place where children can share their experiences and get the emotional support they need. To find out more, please email

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 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.” Marie, Ollie’s Mum