Together for Short Lives

The Story

Hearing the news that your child is going to die has to be any parent’s worst nightmare.   To find that you’re also lacking support at this dreadful time makes a terrible situation much worse.   

Our campaign for the charity Together for Short Lives highlighted the number of critically ill children and their families who struggle to access end of life care at home, outside normal working hours. Their report showed that those living in parts of the North West, West Yorkshire, the Black Country and West Birmingham particularly, are finding it difficult to obtain palliative care.   

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What We Did

The purpose of the campaign was to call on the government to ensure seriously ill youngsters, for whom time is short, have access to 24/7 care.  Together for Short Lives wanted to encourage the public to sign an open letter to the government supporting the charity’s goal. They also wanted to flag up the funding gap which includes a £301 million shortfall in overall NHS spending on children’s palliative care.    

We aimed for widespread coverage, by targeting national and regional radio and television. In particular focus was placed on the areas, topped by Great Manchester, that had the most cases of children with life-limiting conditions.    

Obviously this is a hugely sensitive topic especially as case studies involved parents who had already lost a child. Add to this the fact news organisations had been talking about Covid for a year and a half and the invasion of Ukraine for three months, a lot of broadcasters didn’t have the appetite for more grim news.


Talk TV, GB News and BFBS were amongst the highlights of the campaign, which included 14 interviews and a reach of 4.9 million listeners and viewers.

“Just a brief message to say a huge thank you!  We all felt very looked after and supported today – great coverage and excellent service.  We had a great experience.”  

Myra Johnson, Director of Communications and Engagement, Together for Short Lives

Listen to some of our radio coverage here:

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