St Clare celebrates official launch of new Children’s Bereavement Service
St Clare celebrated the official launch of our new Children’s Bereavement Service at an event held at the hospice on Tuesday 20 June. The launch event was attended by more than 50 supporters, including special guest Jeff Brazier, television presenter and regular part of the ITV This Morning team, who delivered the key note speech.
Lord Petre, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, and Dame Claire Bertschinger DBE, the Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, were also in attendance as supporters of the Hospice. The event was also attended by Cllr Philip Abraham, Mayor of Loughton; Cllr Mick Fitch, Mayor of Waltham Abbey; Cllr David Stallan, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council; and Cllr Colin Woodward, Mayor of Bishop’s Stortford.
Jeff Brazier, television presenter and life coach, addressed the gathering. Jeff, whose debut book ‘The Grief Survival Guide’ was published at the start of June 2017, is a supporter of the hospice and consulted our bereavement team during the writing of his book. The impact of bereavement in childhood has been an issue close to Jeff’s heart following his experience of raising his two sons, Bobby and Freddie, after the loss of their mother Jade Goody who was cared for at St Clare Hospice in 2009.
Commenting on the launch of St Clare’s Children’s Bereavement Service, Jeff Brazier said: “It is fantastic that St Clare has secured funding to launch this vital service for the children and young relatives of those they care for. My own personal experience, as the father of two sons who lost their mother at a young age, has shown me just how essential this type of specialist care and support is. Grief can happen to anyone, at any point in life; but for children, who may be less well-equipped to cope with it and manage the effects, the need for support is even greater.”
Jeff said: “St Clare Hospice provides incredible care to patients, their children and loved ones, as they navigate one of the most difficult journeys in life. Having access to bereavement support for the whole family, before, during and after the loss of a loved one, is so important. It is incredible that the hospice is now able to extend its services, and to think of all those children that will benefit from the new one-to-one care and family therapy is really special.”
Talking about his book, ‘The Grief Survival Guide’, Jeff said: “It really mattered to me that there was a book about grief out there that is accessible – that wasn’t necessarily written by an expert, or a professor. I have drawn on my own personal experience to write a practical guide to navigating grief, and everything that comes with it. I hope that this book can help to shine a light for people who are very much stumbling around in the dark.”
Joanna Petts, the Patient and Family Support team manager, said: “Every year we see more young patients with young families, needing our care. 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. Losing your mum, dad or loved one as a child can affect you for the rest of your life, so it is vital that St Clare provides this support to complete the circle of care for the whole family.”
The new dedicated bereavement service for children and young people will enable us to expand the current bereavement service delivered by our Patient and Family Support team, serving patients with life-limiting illnesses, and their families, across West Essex and the borders of East Herts. The specialist children’s bereavement service will provide a range of services to support the relatives and friends of all those who have been cared for by St Clare.
The Children’s Bereavement Service has been funded by a major grant from BBC Children in Need and bolstered by additional gifts from Clara E Burgess Trust and Charles S French Trust.
For more information about St Clare Hospice’s Bereavement Service contact the Patient and Family support team on 01279 773742 or visit: www.stclarehospice.org.uk/care/support-families