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A year into our strategy

March 25, 2024

Last year we unveiled our 2023-2026 strategy, For Every Family, with the ambition to help every child and family who need us. We have made significant inroads in achieving this ambition over the past year and wanted to share a few highlights of our work with you, our incredible supporters, because none of this would have been possible without your unwavering support.

We have expanded our specialist bereavement service, giving more families who have experienced the sudden death of their child access to our expert and comprehensive bereavement care.

Sarah Hodkinson, Head of Psychosocial Services, shared, “There is a tangible sadness in the team as we learn of each new death and a moment in which we imagine this horror happening to a loved one. Then, without hesitation, we race out to family homes, taking with us the kit and compassion that we know will be needed. We surround each family with an expert network of support, and we have the daily privilege of seeing the impact of our care – care that time and time again families describe as a lifeline in their darkest moments.”

Our purpose-built hospice, Christopher’s in Guildford, is often described as a ‘home from home’ by families who visit to receive the myriad of services we offer. Our aim is to be able to offer respite and end-of-life care to more babies, children and young people living with life-limiting conditions.

Since April 2023


newly bereaved families have accessed our specialist bereavement care – 17% above the number of families we expected to support.


new family referrals were received, an increase of 16% in the last year.


end-of-life referrals were made to our service.

Since the launch of our strategy, we have been able to open a sixth bed at Christopher’s, marking a significant expansion in our capacity to support as many families as possible with planned and emergency respite and end-of-life care.

“By having an extra bed open, it means we have more nights available for children and young people across the year,” said Geraldine Sheedy, Head of Hospice Services.

“These children have such complex care needs, whoever takes care of them must be fully competent in the specialist care,” continues Geraldine. “Support from our community and donors has been instrumental in the hiring of four extra nurses, which will allow us to sustain the newly opened bed around the clock.”

By 2026, our aim is to open eight beds, so we can support even more families when they need us.


children given end-of-life care at our hospice and at home – 33% above the number of children we expected to support.


The number of beds now open at Christopher’s, one higher than last year.

Over the last year we have built on our existing partnerships, while establishing new and important connections across the health, local authority and political landscape. We understand that we play a small part in a very big system, and so, by working with partners, we can ensure we can be there for families when they are facing the unimaginable. Through this work over the last year, we have seen an increase in the number of family referrals we have received.

As we embark on the second year of our strategy, we know we can only reach our goal of supporting every family that needs us with your continued support. Thank you for all you do for families across Surrey, south-west London and north-west London.

Find out ways you can help our vital work here.

Statistics reflect period from April to December 2023.