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Project information

Special Family Days

To create precious special days for children with a serious or life-limiting illness and the families who love and care for them. These days enable the whole family to enjoy time together escaping, even if for just a short time, from the daily reality of the child’s illness.

January 2017 - December 2021

Charity information: Sebastian's Action Trust

Sebastian's Action Trust logo
  • Need


    Living with a seriously-ill child can put enormous stress upon members of the family, including the extended family, who often feel isolated, frightened and depressed. Families can lose contact with members of their community as they are often the only family in their community to have a child with a serious or life-limiting illness and so it is hard to communicate with those who have little understanding of their needs.


    By providing family activities which can be enjoyed by families with seriously ill and or life-limited children the creation of a peer group is anticipated, helping to reduce the sense of isolation. The aim is to enable families to enjoy spending time together and to escape the daily realities of their child’s illnesses, if only for a short time. The families will have the opportunity to create memories to last a life-time even if sadly in some cases that life is to be cut cruelly short.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To enable families to spend quality time together doing enjoyable things


    » Easter Event which includes Egg Hunt, Travelling Farm, Face Painting, Magicians, Craft-work and afternoon tea.
    » Christmas Party - marquee, entertainers, games, Santa's Grotto, Ice Rink and Snow Globe.

    What success will look like

    That families tell us that they feel happier. We want to encourage families to smile to and take time to enjoy the little things. The feedback collected should reflect this.

    Aim 2

    To offer parents the opportunity to meet and socialise with other parents in similar circumstances.


    » Mums' Spa Day - a whole day pampering session with treatments, lunch and afternoon tea.
    » Dads' Night Out - A go-karting evening followed by pizzas and refreshments.
    » Grandparents' Days to enable Grandparents to share feelings with others without feeling guilty about 'burdening' thier children.

    What success will look like

    Success will be the number of parents attending and the feedback we receive. We will be looking to see an improvement in mental wellbeing and feelings of reduced isolation.

    Aim 3

    To reduce the sense of isolation and responsibility felt by the siblings of seriously-ill children.


    » Sleepovers - Girls and Boys overnight parties with arts and crafts, cooking, talent competition, late night swimming and age appropriate movies.
    » Activity Days - junior and senior days include trips to theatres, theme parks, bowling, ice skating and meals out.

    What success will look like

    The children who attend stating that they feel less isolated, report improved mental wellbeing and show measurable improvement in behaviour and educational attainment.

  • Impact


    It will give families an outlet for them to spend time together or individually and offer the opportunity for them to meet others in similar situations. It will allow seriously-ill children to experience activities that may otherwise not be available to them. It will enable them to forge relationships and gain strenght and support.

    Success will be on the number attending these events and requesting and monitoring feedback.


    • Available finances:
    • Currently these events are costed beforehand and individually organised. Funding would allow us to plan ahead more and offer a future programme to our families.
    • Each activity is risk assessed to ensure that we provide the appropriate level of support for families with seriously-ill children.


    Reports on number and type of events, attendance and photographs (as appropriate).

    Invitations to attend selected events.

    Bi-annual newsletter

    Impact report which highlights outcomes against targets giving measurable stastistical information as well case studies.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £21,350

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,450 Easter Event Egg Hunt, Afternoon Tea and Travelling Farm
      £9,500 Christmas Parties Santa's Grotto, Snow Globe, Ice Rink, Games, Tea Party
      £1,300 Girls Sleepovers Activities, Dinner and Movies
      £1,300 Boys Sleepovers Activites, Dinner and Movies
      £1,600 Junior Activity Days Themed Days and BBQs or takeaways
      £3,400 Senior Activity Days Outings to theatres, theme parks, bowling and skating
      £1,500 Mums' Days Spa Treatments and afternoon teas
      £1,300 Dads' Days Acitivies such as go-karting and refreshments
  • Background


    Our Special Days, Junior Activity, Sleepovers and Reflection Days all take place at The Bluebells, our purpose buit holiday house. Mums' and Dads' days will take place at hotels or other local venues. Senior Siblings Activity days will be within Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire.


    Life-limited and seriously-ill children and their families living in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Hampshire.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are already supporting these families through respite stays provided at our holiday house (The Bluebells) or by the provision of outreach, specialist services including a welfare and advocacy service or through the delivery of bereavement care. Our aim is to walk beside families throughout their whole journey, from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sam Ashwell

    House Manager at The Bluebells - organising and managing the activity days, family days and sleepovers at the house

    Katie Cowie

    Family Services Manager- organises events and provides line management of Sam and the supporting team.