Stories from the Heart: Julia’s House Children’s Hospice

We’ve got big love for Julia’s House. BIG. LOVE. Having worked with them on their website and gotten to know their incredible ethos and approach, we knew we wanted to do something a bit special to show our admiration.

Julia’s House Children’s Hospice is a charity unlike any other. Providing respite care for children and families in the community, the award-winning company provides bespoke practical and emotional support for families caring for a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. Their team offer more than nursing skills and top-of-the-range facilities – they bring a whole new level of compassion to the profession.

Supporting families at the hospice, in their homes and in the community, the team are tireless in their enthusiasm and it shows. The children are happy and fulfilled, the parents relaxed and confident. We wanted to capture that special relationship so we donated a video: Chloe’s Story. The aim of which was to provide an opportunity for families and staff to share and articulate their journey, highlighting a lifeline and encouraging others to share their experience and seek support.

Telling stories – honest, transparent stories from the heart, is part of who we are. We believe in creating personal bonds with your audience and believe stories are your gods-honest-truth reason for being, not just an elevator pitch. With that in mind we set out to tell the most real and true story we could for Julia’s House.

Chloe’s story is one capturing the essence of life for families looking after children with critical medical conditions. Through mum Rachel’s candid and sensitive interview, the story of Julia’s House is told with space and with respect. These are difficult stories to tell, with tough subject matter to convey but Ryan and Michael (our crack in-house video and photography team), found fly-on-the-wall ways of filming and editing so no one felt vulnerable or uncomfortable.

It was also important to everyone involved to show another side of respite care – a joyful, life-embracing angle, with shots of the staff and children being themselves, getting involved and feeling good. The bond between Julia’s House staff and the children is palpable and we wanted to show prospective parents palliative care isn’t scary or depressing – it provides a safe and happy space for kids and families.

Once released, the video had a grand launch; first shown at a Jasper Conran event and then picked up by Children’s Hospice week. Royal recognition was very welcome (obvs) with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge stating “I hope you will join me in shining a light on the dedicated and inspirational staff and volunteers, and the lifeline services they provide for children and their families. The work they do is extraordinary, and it really does make a world of difference.” Thanks Kate!

But the biggest accolade comes from the families of Julia’s House. Said Alex Talbot, Julia’s House development director,  ‘Chloe’s parents both love the story, they found it very emotive. It’s been really hard for them to tell the story to friends and family because they’re quite isolated and the video’s allowed them to push that out there without having to overexpose themselves directly to people one by one. Rachel did want to tell her story but she definitely felt isolated previously because of Chloe’s condition, it meant that she has had to spend quite a lot of time at home, and she hasn’t been able to communicate to her friends and family necessarily as much about what her condition is. So this gave her an opportunity to tell her story first hand and do it in a way that she felt she could express some of the difficulties and emotions that they’ve been through as a family. GP really captured the essence of that, they were sympathetic and empathetic in the way that Rachel wanted to tell her story and gave her the time to do that.’

If you’ve got a story and need help telling it, get in touch for a chat.