For more than 20 years Shooting Star Children’s Hospices has provided outstanding care to children living with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

The charity launched its new three-year strategy earlier this year which focuses on supporting every family with a life-limited child or whose child has died. 

To achieve this, the charity is calling on the public to donate to their bereavement appeal so it can reach more families.

In a typical year, 276 children die across Surrey, north-west London and south-west London. Currently, Shooting Star Children’s Hospices specialist bereavement care is only reaching 29 per cent of families who have a child that dies.

The support the charity offers to bereaved families is unique, working alongside other organisations, it brings together expert health and social care professionals who provide a bespoke, family centred approach that can support everyone impacted by the profound grief that the death of a child can bring.

Shooting Stars
Each bear represents one of the 276 children that die across Surrey, south-west London, and north-west London each year. (Shooting Stars)

Paul Farthing, Chief Executive of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices said: “Our ambition is to offer bereavement support to all families of children who have died across Surrey, north-west London and south-west London by 2026.

"The death of a child has a devastating impact on a family. It can lead to anxiety, depression and trauma that threaten to shatter family life. The death of a child increases the likelihood of premature death in a parent by 32 per cent.

”This ambition can’t be achieved alone. We will continue to work with other organisations who have experience and expertise in end-of-life care and bereavement, local hospitals and healthcare professionals. We also need our incredible supporters – the individuals, companies, local groups and trusts that drive forward our work with their unwavering support.

"We want to make every moment count for every family facing the unimaginable. Please consider making a donation today to help us if you can.”

Find out more about the vital work at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices here.