Together for Short Lives

Together for Short Lives

At a glance


  • Campaigning
  • Children / families
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Physical disabilities

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


Together for Short Lives is the leading UK charity that speaks for all children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and all those who support, love and care for them. When children are unlikely to reach adulthood, we – and our members - aim to make a lifetime of difference for children and their families.


We are here for every one of these children and their families, being a companion to parents on their journey so they know where to go for support and have the information to help them make the right choices about their child’s care. We are here to help children and their families to access specialist children’s palliative care services, day and night, seven days a week—when and where they need it.

We also support all the professionals, children’s palliative care services and children’s hospices that deliver lifeline care to children and families across the UK. By working together with professionals and organisations we provide a strong and unified voice, and help services deliver the best quality care and support tailored to each family’s needs.

Our three year strategy (2015 - 18) is designed to lead lasting change for children’s palliative care. The strategy - Quality of life, quality of death: Leading change for children’s palliative care aims to enable children, young people and their families in the UK to have as fulfilling lives as possible the best care at the end of life.

The strategy identifies five priority areas in which we would like to influence over the next three years. We have selected these because they are complex issues which cannot be addressed by individual services or professionals alone. They require a UK wide view and an approach which brings together a range of different agencies and individuals – including families, providers, professionals, governments, regulators and funders. Working in partnership with others, we will lead change in these five areas to improve the lives of children and families.

The five strategy priorities are:

  • Information and support for families – so families can find the support they need locally and make informed choices about their child’s care.
  • Quality of life, quality of death – so families receive high quality care through life and at end of life and supporting professionals and services to understand and meet the needs of more children and families in their diverse communities. 
  • Commissioning and sustainability – influencing local and national children’s palliative acre commissioning in all four UK countries and raising vital funds for children’s palliative care voluntary sector providers.
  • Transition – improve young people’s transition from children’s to adult services and access to appropriate services and support
  • Community engagement and volunteering –improve understanding of childhood death and dying and encouraging the sector to explore a community approach to children’s palliative care and invest in volunteering.

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