When a child has a serious illness, family life is turned upside down and time becomes more precious than ever. Rainbow Trust pairs each family with an expert Family Support Worker who is by their side whenever it is needed at home, in hospital and in the community to help them cope
Family Support Workers enable families to make the most of their time together. They provide practical and emotional support, where families need it, for as long as it is needed. Their support can include:
- Listening to a family’s fears and anxieties
- Taking the time to help explain illnesses, diagnoses and treatments
- Spending time with a seriously ill child, keeping them company during long appointments or hospital visits
- Driving families to hospital appointments so parents can relax with their child
- Finding time to organise fun activities to support brothers and sisters
- Supporting families with an ill baby on the neonatal unit
- Giving bereavement support if a child dies, which might include helping arrange a funeral or visiting the child’s grave with the family
Rainbow Trust relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and through the generosity of its supporters helped over 2,500 families last year through its eight care teams of Family Support Workers across England.
For parents, the emotional impact of having a baby in intensive care can be devastating. They are thrown into a world they never expected to be in. Coping with the worry of a seriously ill baby, trying to keep life normal for brothers and sisters, getting to and from the hospital and all the while navigating a health system of which they have no experience. Having the help of an independent and expert Neonatal Family Support Worker is invaluable.
I’ll be forever thankful for the 19 days I got with Charlie…. You (Brian, a Family Support Worker) were the best throughout. Nobody else got it.Charlotte, a Rainbow Trust Parent
With support from ICAP Charity Day in 2018, Rainbow Trust have been able to fund a specialist Neonatal Support Worker in London for 18 months which helps to transform the support for seriously ill babies and their families. Thanks to this role the charity have been able to support up to 35 families in crisis who need specialist neonatal support.