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St Clare Hospice launch new Children’s Bereavement Service

Author: Leila Hawkins
29 March 2017

St. Clare Hospice in Essex is opening a new Children’s Bereavement Service next month.

The new service adds to the current bereavement service for adults with life-limiting conditions across West Essex and the borders of East Hertfordshire. It will support children and young people who have been cared for by the hospice, along with their families.

The service has been funded by a major grant from BBC’s Children in Need, and additional awards from the Clara E Burgess and Charles S French trusts. It launches next month and will start to see patients by June.

Philip Ball, Director of Patient Care, explained how it will work:

“The service will be led by a qualified Children, Young Person and Family Therapist, who will conduct individualised assessments. Based on the child or young person’s needs, they will be able to attend either one-to-one counselling sessions, family therapy or group therapy.”

“A social group will also be established to run alongside the service, offering peer support and the chance to spend time with other children who have had a similar experience. This peer support is especially important for young people between the ages of eleven and fifteen who can often become isolated.”

“Our team will also help local schools to support those pupils who are experiencing bereavement – ensuring that children and young people are supported at every stage of their journey.”

Joanna Petts, Patient and Family Support team manager, said:

“It has been a long-held ambition of the St Clare team to provide a service dedicated to supporting children and young people experiencing bereavement. We are delighted to have secured the funding to launch this dedicated Children’s Bereavement Service and will now be able to offer a truly holistic service for every patient and their whole circle of family and loved ones.”

“Every year we see more young patients with young families needing the care of St Clare. It is vital that we are able to offer the specific support that children need when experiencing the loss of a loved one at St Clare.”

“Grief is a unique experience, affecting every child differently, but the effect of losing your mum, dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle at a young age can impact a person for the rest of their lives. It is so important that we are able to offer specialist, individualised care to support the children and grandchildren of our patients, at the right time, and in the right place – completing the circle of care.”

For more information visit St. Clare Hospice

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