Family Service Co-ordinators: Meet Ben

The Family Service Co-ordinators help families to access a range of information and support in their community. This can include signposting families and helping them to access financial and practical help such as free legal support or grants. Ensuring families can draw on the cumulative expertise of the specialist nurses, Family Support Workers and co-ordinators alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with navigating the system alone.   

Meet Ben 

1. Can you explain your role in a few sentences?  

I help provide a holistic package of support for families caring for a child that has a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. Working with the wider team allows for a multi-disciplinary approach that covers practical, emotional, financial and clinical needs. Working through the Family Hub at Together for Short Lives, I help families to access grants for equipment, home adaptations, food shopping or to help them cope with rising energy bills. 

 2. Looking back over the past year, what has been a highlight?  

There have been so many. Particularly when the programme has come into its own and the family feel supported by us as a team, and when talking to families, it feels like we’ve created something special around them. If I had to choose one example, it would be meeting a family in person at an event I organised and hearing about the difference the programme had made. I’d spoken to this mum many times on the phone and helped them access grants that supported them in making improvements to her son’s bedroom.  

 3. What is your favourite thing about your job?  

Making a difference. There’s no other job I’ve been in where the team is so dedicated to making a positive difference to the lives of those we are working to support. We are all here for these families and I can really feel that.   

4. Can you see the programme making a difference to the families you support?  

I see a difference most days and every week this is enhanced through caseload meetings. Recently I was able to support a family to go to a party at their local hospice. Enabling their son to leave hospital for the day meant so much to them. I truly believe the programme has made a difference to every family it supports.