Donate Refer

Children from 0-21 years with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. We offer support for all the family. 

Medical care from specialist doctors, including out of hours cover, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Our services include: 

  • Highly specialised clinical care
  • Short breaks/respite
  • Emergency care
  • End of life care
  • Sibling support
  • Counselling
  • Complementary therapies
  • Pre and post bereavement support for all family members
  • Telephone support?  Is this offered? Contact/key worker support?
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Multi-sensory therapy
  • Play – music and art/messy play activities

Children and families across the south west of England can be referred to CHSW.  We support more than 500 families at our three hospices across the whole region.

Once all the information available is reviewed, a decision will be made about the appropriateness of hospice care for the child and family. The family and the involved professionals will be informed of this decision without delay. A typical period for completion of this referral process is approximately six weeks.  To make a referral please click here.

We welcome referrals from family members whose child has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, or professionals. With your families permission we will then contact your professional support team (GP, consultants, key workers etc) to gather up-to-date information about your child's current needs and likely future prognosis. To make a referral please contact us.

Most referrals come from health or social care professionals, but anyone can refer a child or young person.

We have 8 specially adapted bedrooms at both Little Bridge House in Devon, and Charlton Farm in Bristol. At Little Harbour in Cornwall there are 6, which ar eused for respite breaks.

At each hopsice we keep one of these bedrooms free for emergency or end of life care.

Children’s palliative care is an active and total approach to care, from the point of diagnosis or recognition, throughout the child’s life, death and beyond. It embraces physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements and focuses on the enhancement of quality of life for the child or young person and support for the family. It includes the management of symptoms, provision of short breaks and care through death and bereavement. (Definition: Together for Short Lives)

All our services are completely free to families who are referred to us.

It costs £9.8 million a year to provide all of our services, the majority of this is raised through the incredible support of our community, our corporate supporters and our network of retail shops.

As a charity we receive less than 16% of our funding from government and statutory organisations.

Life-limiting conditions are those for which there is no reasonable hope of cure and from which children will die. Some of these conditions cause slow deterioration over time rendering the child increasingly dependent on parents and carers.

Life-threatening conditions are those for which curative treatment may be feasible but can fail, such as cancer. 

(Definition: Together for Short Lives)

You have the option to stay with your child or the opportunity to leave your child at the hospice whilst going away for a break.

We aim to provide a home from home environment and we try and re-create whatever night routine you have at home when settling your child to bed and through the night and during your child’s stay.

A bit about family accommodation, what is provided i.e. towels, bed linen etc.

Equipment, disposable medical equipment, medicines (correctly labelled with the child’s prescription), nappies/pads and toiletries for personal use.

We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

As all teenagers wish to be independent, the hospice also holds teenage focused weekends, giving them the opportunity to come and stay without their families. 

Three different weekends are arranged each year, plus one sensory teenage week. The weekends are often themed to suit varied interests including pamper days, cars and games.

It gives the teenagers the chance to socialise with others and time to talk about their experiences.

Each of our hospices has a special room called ‘Starborn’ in which, after a child has died, they can be laid for up to seven days. Starborn is kept at a regulated temperature where the appropriate measures are taken to prepare the body for the funeral. This allows families to be in an environment where they can say goodbye to their child properly, surrounded by loved ones, with support from members of the care team who have looked after their much loved child during their stays.

We provide emergency care for many families, and this can be for a number of reasons. It may be that the child is very poorly and the family would like the support that the hospice provides, both physically and emotionally.

An emergency may not necessarily be with the sick child. A parent maybe ill, recovering from an operation, or attending a family funeral for example, and may need additional assistance with their child during this time.

Once a family starts to visit our hospices, our care team are available to help them think about the choices they may wish to consider when their child nears the end of their life. An end of life care plan is a document that outlines you and your child’s wishes for their end of life care, including management of pain, other symptoms and provision of psychological, social, spiritual and support for the family into bereavement. 

The end of life phase begins when a judgement is made that no more treatment is possible, to ensure care helps children who are no longer receiving curative treatment to live as well as possible until they die. Including care during and around the time of death, and immediately afterwards. Enabling supportive and palliative care needs of both child and the family to be identified and met throughout the last phase of life. 

Families may wish to come to the hospice for care towards the end of their child’s life. We would always view these stays as a priority. Families may also wish to stay at home or in a hospital and then come to the hospice after their child has died. Whatever the family decides our care team can offer support, advice and practical help whether at home or in the hospice.

We offer short breaks away for the whole family, for respite and relaxation. Mums, Dads, brothers and sisters can all come and stay at our hospices.

We provide one-to-one specialist care for the sick child. This allows the family the chance to have a break away from the worries of caring, and to be together as a family. In this respect, what we provide is completely unlike any other care available.

Families are advised on how and when they are able to book hospice stays. In addition to planned respite nights, emergency stays can be arranged. These are organised on an “as needed” basis.

The way families use their respite stays is determined to suit their personal circumstances, we aim to be as flexible as possible in responding to needs. Some families prefer long visits while others might choose a weekend every few months. We hope each family would feel free to discuss their individual needs with us.

CHSW operates a Sibling Service at each hospice, providing dedicated support and care to the brothers and sisters of life-limited children.

During family stays, the siblings can spend as much or as little time as needed with a devoted sibling team. Contact is maintained with the siblings during their time at the hospice, between visits with newsletters, emails and days out and after their brother or sister’s death, for as long as they need.