By Your Side: reaching families in hospital
We know that having a child in hospital can be a time of overwhelming stress and insecurity.
As well as emotional strain, parents often face a raft of practical challenges. Families can be left feeling confused by the medical system, uncertain about where to turn for help, and struggling under increased financial pressure as they reduce work hours to spend more time with their child.
How we support families in hospital
Our By Your Side parent advisers are located in hospitals and other health settings, where they are able to guide parents through the maze of medical departments and jargon they face. We can answer parents’ questions and make sure they have the information they need – all without needing an appointment.
“I was physically and emotionally exhausted. But Ruth from Contact really listened to me and helped in so many ways. She was my little bit of sanity.” Parent Carer
We help families with their most pressing issues, including benefits – such as Disability Living Allowance payments when in hospital – and getting the right support at school. We guide families through condition-specific services, help them find local support groups, and signpost to local organisations.
For more complex matters, we can refer families to our rare conditions officer, our specialist helpline or a local Contact office.
Where we’re based
Due to new government guidelines in response to Covid-19, we are sad to say that we are currently not delivering our By Your Side Project within the hospitals.
We will resume them as soon as we can, but in the meantime our parent advisers are still available to provide advice or support via email or phone.
Ruth Stone – London and the South East
Phone: 07920 654 863
Toni Rushton – London and the South East
Emma Weatherdon – Midlands
Phone: 07919 147 076
Shona Chambers – North East
Phone: 07984 365 438
Lynn Shields – Scotland
Phone: 07421 309263
Our BYS Scotland team are taking enquires from families and professionals, so do get in touch if you would like some support and information.
Please note, all parent advisers listed work part-time. If you need a more urgent reply, please get in touch with our helpline.
I was physically and emotionally exhausted. But Ruth from Contact really listened to me and helped in so many ways. She was my little bit of sanity.
– Parent Carer