Together for Short Lives
Supporting 27,000 families caring for young people with a life-limiting condition to stay safe and warm at home
Our project at a glance
- Priority need group: Critically ill people
- Strategic priority area: Supporting priority vulnerability groups
- Support target: 27,000 households per year
- Duration: August 2023 to March 2026
- Investment: £500,149 over three years
- Forecast SROI: £2.42
Why we’re working together
Citizens Advice’s February 2023 Cost-of-Living Data Dashboard identified disabled people and those living with a health condition as being most impacted by the cost of living crisis.
Many families with children who are seriously ill or have a life-limiting condition depend on electrical equipment to maintain their children’s health and enhance their quality of life. The cost of powering essential medical equipment, such as ventilators, hoists and food pumps, has soared during the cost-of-living crisis, putting considerable financial and emotional pressure on already vulnerable households.
We’re partnering with children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives to ensure families have access to the energy safeguards and financial support they need to enable young people with life-limiting conditions to be cared for at home as long as they wish, rather than being transferred to hospital or hospice care.
- Training 1,000 palliative and hospice care professionals across the Together for Short Lives network in energy safeguarding
- Providing 24,000 vulnerable households with information on the Priority Services Register and how to access energy-related support from the charity
- Offering 3,000 families in crisis one-to-one energy safeguarding support from an energy support officer
How we’re working together
Energy safeguarding training
We’re upskilling palliative and hospice care professionals to identify households in fuel poverty and equipping them with the knowledge and resources to support these families. We’re also training the charity’s helpline and outreach teams to be able to provide more in-depth support on energy-related issues. As part of this training programme, our carbon monoxide safety training partner Gas Safe Charity is providing Think CO training.
Multi-channel awareness-raising campaign
Together for Short Lives has found many of the families it supports are unaware of the Priority Services Register and the need for utility companies to be aware of their households’ additional and critical gas and electricity requirements. We’re actioning a multi-channel awareness-raising campaign to raise awareness of the PSR, including social media and children’s hospice workshops.
Alongside the PSR, we’re also raising awareness of carbon monoxide safety, energy efficiency measures and available financial support that can help families continue to care for their child at home.
One-to-one energy advice service
Through the Together for Short Lives helpline and established outreach service, the energy support service is helping families that are having difficulties with their energy bills or facing energy debt to stay safe, warm and at home. This includes helping families access the PSR, implement energy efficiency measures and identify financial support. Together for Short Lives is also able to use its existing partner network to see if they can help families with further specialist support.
In-depth support for the most vulnerable households
After being triaged and referred by the charity, our dedicated caseworkers are supporting households who are unable to afford to heat their homes. This bespoke support is tailored to families in crisis, offering immediate practical and financial help. The caseworkers can access a range of interventions to support the family, including access to a crisis fund for ‘heat the person’ assets such as electric blankets.
How to get involved
Accessing the Together for Short Lives service
If you support a family caring for a child with a life-limiting illness, you can refer the household for support from the Together for Short Lives Family Support Hub by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re caring for a child with a life-limiting illness and struggling with an energy-related issue, please contact the Together for Short Lives team for support. You can call the helpline on 0808 8088 100 or visit the Together for Short Lives website for more details.
Becoming a Together for Short Lives partner
You can find out more about becoming a strategic partner of Together for Short Lives on their website.