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Image of a cuddly toy bear with the words 'missing you' and 'bereavement care appeal'

No family should have to cope with the death of a child alone

Help us reach everyone who needs our support

£10 could help us answer a call on our Family Support Line from someone whose world has fallen apart following the death of their child.

William with mum Hannah

Hannah, William's mum

“Your donation will go a long way to make sure that no family
suffers alone as their world falls apart.”

Why your help is needed


children a year will die across our catchment area in a typical year.


of these will be babies less than 7 days old.


of bereaved families don’t currently receive our bereavement support


The death of a child increases the risk of early death for their parent by 32%

William's Story

Saturday 13th November had started like any other day. At teatime, William was in his high chair happily eating pizza when suddenly he slumped to one side. I could see he was having a seizure and I called 999 instantly. Everything seemed to happen so quickly.  We were given the shocking news that William had suffered a cardiac arrest five minutes after the seizure terminated. William suffered a second cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital which left him fighting for his life. Hannah said: “we were sitting in A&E watching our worst nightmare happen. Our baby boy laying there with all these doctors around him, trying to figure out what was wrong and trying to make him better.”

For four anxious days, they clung onto hope. But 21-month old William died in Hannah and Keith’s arms on 17 November 2021. Hannah said: “we soaked up every ounce of him that would have to see us through our lifetime. We told him the best story in the world, the story of his life: how much everyone loved him, our memories and that he’d always be part of our family.”

It was three weeks after William died that the family met Paige. Hannah said: “Paige is compassionate, she’s kind, she’s warm, she listens and when you’ve lost your child that is so important.
She told us about the bereavement services that Shooting Star Children’s Hospices offer to the whole family. And that support wasn’t just for a few weeks, but over three years if we needed it.” William’s death is what’s known as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). Hannah says her grief is personal, raw, and the most traumatic experience of her life. “The 1:1 counselling I have at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices gives me the time and freedom to talk about and explore my feelings. It gives me the space to say ‘William. The bereavement support, counselling and therapies we’ve received as a family from Shooting Star Children’s Hospices has been fundamental. They’re a charity I hold dear to my heart.”

How we've supported William's family

Siblings days

Sibling days and 1:1 therapy help Max and Lewis find ways to cope with the sudden and unexpected death of their little brother.

Memory garden

Our memory garden has a leaf with William’s name engraved on it, where the family can come to remember him.

Paige and one of William's siblings doing an activity together

Named keyworker

Paige is the family’s named keyworker. She helps them have someone they know to turn to who can help support them in accessing all our services.