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Support for families

Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice provides support for families of children with a life-shortening illness. With our professional help and range of care and support services, we can help families cope during this difficult time.


Life-shortening conditions are those for which there is no reasonable hope of cure and from which children or young people will die before they reach adulthood. Some conditions cause progressive deterioration resulting in the child or young person becoming increasingly dependent on their parents or carers.

Family support

We realise that there are many challenges in caring for a child with a life-shortening condition and our team offer support for the whole family.

There are many emotional and practical issues that arise day by day, and sometimes it can be helpful to spend time talking with someone outside the situation. Our Therapy Team can offer parents and carers space for discussion.  This also includes spiritual support and play therapy.

Caring for a sick child can be physically demanding and so our volunteer complimentary therapists visit Chestnut Tree House to offer massage therapy for parents.

If you would like to know more about the family support services we offer, please email cthadmin@stbh.org.uk

Support for siblings

All siblings of a child or young person who use Chestnut Tree House services can have support from our team.

Chestnut Tree House buddies and childrenWe run activity days allowing siblings to meet other children or teenagers who also have a sick brother or sister. These vary from days out to days at Chestnut Tree House, providing fun and allowing the children the chance to express themselves.

Our Therapists can provide individual support for siblings who are coping with having a very sick brother or sister, or who have been bereaved.

If you would like to know more about the support services we offer for siblings, please email cthadmin@stbh.org.uk

Grandparent support

Many grandparents share a special bond with their grandchildren. When you learn that your grandchild has a life shortening condition it can present challenging situations and raise difficult emotions.

We host Grandparents Events, to allow you to meet others in similar circumstances. Members of staff are always present to offer support and advice.

Whilst your grandchild stays at the house you are welcome to visit. You can spend quality time with your grandchild and see what we do.

Our Family Counsellor can offer supportive one-to-one or group sessions to help you cope with difficult feelings.

Family facilities

Family loungeAs part of the family support we provide, we have eight bedrooms for family use at Chestnut Tree House.

There are six twin rooms and two single rooms, all with en-suite facilities. Each room has a sofa bed, a cot is available and most have a television.

If you wish to stay downstairs in your child’s room, this can be arranged.

Chestnut Tree House is pleased to welcome siblings to stay and to join in activities.

BedroomThere is a family lounge with a kitchenette, which is stocked with cereals, milk, bread and all other necessities. Family meals are supplied in the main dining area downstairs.

The facilities at Chestnut Tree House aim to cater for the whole family. A member of the Care Team will be pleased to show you around the house. If you have questions not answered in the guide, please do not hesitate to ask us.

Our facilities include young people’s wing and children’s bedrooms, a main lounge, computer room, Magic Carpet room, wet and dry play areas, hydrotherapy pool, music room, multi-sensory room, reflections, meadow garden, and a wonderful new Woodland Walk.

Spiritual, religious and cultural wishes

Finding out that your child may not live the life you had planned for them, and especially that they may die before they reach adulthood, is devastating and life changing. It can make you question everything you thought you believed. You may be experiencing some difficult feelings that it’s hard to talk about and your situation may be raising some big spiritual questions.

At Chestnut Tree House our Chaplain can be called upon throughout your child’s care and is happy to visit you at home, in hospital or if you are staying at the hospice. Find out more about our Chaplaincy services here.


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CQC rating
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