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It was Ruth’s very strong belief that every parent diagnosed with a cancer that cannot be cured, should be offered emotional support on how to keep the family connected and prepare for the future, especially when dependent children are involved.

It is therefore the Ruth Strauss Foundation’s mission to help families access professional emotional support when facing the death of a parent. With the funds raised during the #RedforRuth campaign, we are developing the RSF Training Programme. The Programme will enable us to train care professionals so that they can support families with confidence, when a parent hasn’t got much longer to live.

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Ruth's Robin

Supporting Families

We believe that every family facing the death of a parent should be offered  professional, emotional support. Watch the video for more on our mission.

Where do you start when you need to talk to your children about your diagnosis...

Talking to Your Child About Dying

How do you talk to your children about grief, death and dying? RSF’s support advisor Jenni Thomas shares 10 helpful insights, to help guide parents facing one of life’s toughest tests.

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Our workbook 'this is about me and you'

‘This is About Me and You’

Our workbook ‘This is About Me and You’ is designed for families where a parent has an incurable illness. It can help you to communicate with children about illness, grief and death. It is accompanied by some useful guidelines on how to best complete the workbook.

A podcast by Jenni Thomas - RSF's support & bereavement advisor


Grief counsellor & RSF Family Support Advisor Jenni Thomas introduces the series ‘How to talk to children about death’. The podcast is aimed at helping people who are grieving or anyone supporting someone who is bereaved. Jenni is joined by our Founder Sir Andrew Strauss.

Where do you start when you need to talk to your children about your diagnosis...

Personal Stories

We are very grateful for the people who have shared their stories with us.

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Useful Literature

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Our Proud List of Supporters

Jenni Thomas OBE

Jenni Thomas OBE is widely recognised in the UK as a leading authority in grief support and education in relation to a child’s death and a child being bereaved.


Maggie’s is a charity providing free cancer support and information to anyone living with cancer. Professional teams including cancer support specialists and psychologists can provide help and information.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie provides services to help people living with a terminal illness, and their families, make the most of the time they have left.

Grief Encounter

Grief Encounter is one of the UK’s leading bereaved child charities, providing free, pioneering services and support to bereaved children, young people and their families.


Hope Support Services provides safe online support, accessible from anywhere across the UK, to young people aged 11-25 when a close family member is diagnosed with cancer.

Macmillian Cancer Support

Macmillan offers physical, financial and emotional support “to help patients with cancer live life as fully as they can.”

Winston’s Wish

Winston’s Wish was the UK’s first childhood bereavement charity. It has supported bereaved children since 1992 and continues to lead the way in providing specialist child bereavement support services across the UK.

Cancer Research

Cancer Research UK has excellent online resources and provides information on how to support children whose parents have cancer.

Jigsaw (South East)

Jigsaw provides support to children & young people who have a family member with a life-limiting condition and grief support to children and young people who have lost a significant family member.


Shine Cancer Support provides information, support and expert advice to anyone diagnosed with any cancer in their 20s, 30s or 40s. Shine operates UK wide, with local support groups as well as a range of online and national activities.

WAY Widowed & Young

WAY is a UK charity that offers a peer-to-peer support network for anyone who’s lost a partner before their 51st birthday – married or not, with or without children, whatever their sexual orientation.


Cruse Bereavement Care was founded in 1959 in Richmond upon Thames and is the leading national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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