St Clare announces new Children’s Bereavement Service

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BBC Children in Need to fund new initiative!

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new Children’s Bereavement Service following the receipt of a major grant from BBC Children in Need.

The new dedicated bereavement service for children and young people will enable St Clare 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, which has been funded by a major grant from Children in Need and bolstered by additional gifts from Clara E Burgess Trust and Charles S French Trust, will launch in April 2017 and the team is due to begin seeing clients by June 2017.

Joanna Petts, the 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.”

Joanna Petts continued: “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.”

Director of Patient Care, Philip Ball, outlined the new service: “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.”

We are currently recruiting for a BACP accredited, registered Children, Young People and Family Therapist, to lead this new service. To find out more and to apply click here: www.stclarehospice.org.uk/us/work-us/jobs

For more information about St Clare Hospice’s Bereavement Support Service please contact the Patient and Family Support Team on 01279 773742 or visit: www.stclarehospice.org.uk/care/support-families

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