Together for Short Lives has launched a live chat service for families with terminally ill children who are worried about Covid-19.
The service is an extension of the charity’s family helpline, run by professional staff to support parents and carers with the day-to-day struggles of looking after a child with complex medical needs.
An anonymous, virtual space
Making a phone call can be really daunting for families caring for children with life-limiting conditions, so the live chat option gives them a digital place to open up in a more anonymous way. The service can put families in direct contact with someone who can help, giving them space to discuss what they need.
The live chat has been created in response to a study released during the lockdown that revealed that 93 per cent of families have felt isolated during the pandemic, struggling with the new reality of caring 24/7 for their child without their usual lifeline support from professionals and extended family. One mum said: “Covid 19 has made an already difficult, isolating situation considerably harder.”
The live chat service offers support in these areas:
- Issues relating to their child’s condition
- Legal advice and support
- Financial struggles and difficulties
- General issues when caring for a child with complex needs
Lizzie Chambers, Director of Programmes at Together for Short Lives said: “Our new live chat service will help us reach more and more families, and vitally, will enable families struggling to talk about their child’s diagnosis to open up and start having a digital conversation in a way that feels comfortable.
“Making a call can sometimes feel overwhelming. Our online chat gives families choice in how they seek help. We know that life is so hard for families right now and we hope that this online service will make life a little easier for families when they are trying to reach somebody for support. We are here if they need us.”
The live chat is available on Together for Short Lives’ website from Monday to Friday, 10 am – 4 pm.