New figures released today reveal Shooting Star Chase has cared for 5,000 people in need across London and Surrey since Shooting Star and CHASE merged in 2011, increasing the number of families supported in five years by 36% – reinforcing the charity as a lifeline for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
Shooting Star Chase merged five years ago to provide better care for families and has since supported over 1,200 children with life-limiting conditions and over 3,700 parents and siblings with essential services including short breaks, Hospice at Home, therapies and support groups. Today, we care for 700 families, a 36% increase since the merger.
The figures also show that in five years as Shooting Star Chase, we have provided over 15,300 short breaks, 43,100 hours of Hospice at Home visits and 27,000 hours of therapy activities. As well as making every moment count throughout a child’s life, end-of-life care remains a fundamental and valued part of the care we offer and since the merger, 337 children supported by the charity have sadly died. Many of these families have used one of our hospice’s bereavement suites, and received further support such as counselling and memory days.
We have continued to develop our service to meet the needs of supported families since the merger, and this has included extending the symptom care provision across both hospices to provide even more specialist advice for children with particularly complex health needs, and employing social workers to help families navigate other services on offer to them. Advances in treatment means many of our supported children with life-limiting conditions are now living longer, and as a result we have also employed a transition coordinator who helps teenage children move into adult services.
David Burland, CEO of Shooting Star Chase, explains what these figures mean: “Shooting Star Chase has been an invaluable support for hundreds of families in London and Surrey who are in desperate need of help, and it’s fantastic to see the charity’s impact over the last five years reflected in these figures. Shooting Star Chase is now recognised by many as a leader in children’s hospice care and we’re extremely proud of what we have achieved since merging.
“The charity has grown considerably in a relatively short amount of time, and we plan to continue building on that success. We will further develop our service in line with what children with life-limiting conditions and their families need, and hope to offer our first class care to more people in the area.”
The Shooting Star Children’s Hospice charity was founded in 1995 and opened Shooting Star House children’s hospice in Hampton, London, in 2005. CHASE ( Children’s Hospice Association for the South East) was founded in 1991 and opened Christopher’s children’s hospice in Guildford, Surrey, in 2001. The two charities joined forces in 2011 after an overlap in service and geographical area presented opportunities to grow care, expertise and funding.