A week in the life of our family support team

Published: March 10, 2015

Family support services manager Shahina Haque talks us through a typical week in for holiday period for the family support team at Richard House…


Today we had a family event with Rambert, a contemporary dance company based on the South Bank. Rambert teach people how to express thoughts and feelings using dance and movement, which is fantastic for some of our children and young adults as some have difficulty or are unable to communicate verbally. Rachel, our activities coordinator, was leading on the event so she was there supporting families. We are lucky to have good relationships with many London organisations who support us by coming in and working directly with families.


Rest day


Like we do each Monday, today we kicked off the week with a team meeting. These meetings are a chance for us to check in with each other and discuss what we have been doing and what’s coming up. We speak about the children currently staying in residential and how we can support the care team and the children and families.  Mondays for me are then usually filled with catching up with individual team members, providing supervision and catching up with the families who stayed over the weekend in our residential area.


Today we had a visit from another charity, the Rainbow Trust, and a Richard house drop in activity. This means families can drop in during the day and we’ll have a range of activities going on. Today’s is to the theme ‘crazy colours’ and should be great fun!

I supported the team members to deliver the activity and met with families who attended and listened to their comments about what’s been happening in their life. At the end of activities like this we gathering feedback from the families. This is crucial as it means that we can keep improving the services that we offer.


Today Child Bereavement UK came in to run some training for team, so that we are keeping abreast with knowledge and supporting families.


Today we had a sibling group for older ages. The sibling group is for brothers and sisters of children who have life-limiting illnesses. It’s a space for them to express their feelings in a supportive environment and to have fun, make friends and have some time for themselves as well.

We recently changed the day that we have the older sibling group meetings to a week day in the half term to reach the teenage siblings. We found that for this age group while they are developing their networks that weekends were busy, with the demands of school and social life. We are hoping that the change will engage the teen siblings to come and get the support they want and need. During the group we had a visit from Half-moon theatre, an East London theatre group. They worked with the siblings on an activity around thinking about their careers.


Today we have come in a little later as tonight we are supporting at the Hilton family disco event – which should be lots of fun for families. The Hilton organisation supports us by providing the venue and food. Families who have attended in previous years have given great feedback. This will be the first one that I am attending, and looking forward to seeing all children and families dress to their best and bring out their party side!

Find out about all the services that the family support services team offer here. If you have any questions or would like more information then please contact the team

Pictured: Our family support team taking part in a Victorian-themed party at the hospice