Helen & Douglas House is a registered charity providing respite and end of life care for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions, as well as support and friendship for the whole family. The two hospices are bright, vibrant and positive places, where the emphasis is on living life to the full, even when that life may be short.
There are many families in the UK caring for a child or young adult who has a life-shortening condition. Caring for someone, often for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, over many years, can put an immeasurable strain upon the family. While families willingly invest love, energy and care, life becomes governed by the relentless timetable of nursing and medical needs.
It is a very difficult time for families; relationships can suffer, careers may have to be abandoned and siblings can feel left out.
Children can stay at Helen House and young adults can stay at Douglas House for short periods of time for rest and recuperation, treatment of distressing symptoms or end of life care and support. Families are also able to stay in the family flats.
The care team look after all medical and therapy needs and the whole family is supported by our Family Support and Bereavement Team at every stage for however long it is needed. Siblings can attend The Elephant Club and go on activity camps where they have fun and can share their experience with others from their own age group who have a brother who is very ill or who has died.
As a charity receiving very little government funding, we need to raise over 4.5 million a year to support over 250 families. We need to support them right now and plan for the long term, so that we are there for every step of their journey.