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St Clare celebrates Children in Need day and six months of their new Children and Young People’s Bereavement Service

Charity / Sun 19th Nov 2017 at 08:34pm

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St Clare celebrates Children in Need day and 6 months of their new Children and Young People’s Bereavement Service

St Clare Hospice is celebrating Children in Need appeal day as part of their activities to mark the 6 month anniversary of the Hospice’s Children and Young People’s Bereavement Service.

The Children in Need appeal show, taking place on the BBC on the evening of Friday 17th November, coincides with the 6 month anniversary of St Clare’s newest service which was launched following the receipt of a major grant from BBC Children in Need.

The West Essex and East Herts hospice charity officially launched their dedicated bereavement service for children and young people in June 2017 and has supported more than 22 children, young people and their families since the project began. The specialist service, which is run by an integrative arts psychotherapist, provides a range of services to support the children, grandchildren and loved ones aged under 18 years, of those cared for by St Clare.

Catherine Kiff, St Clare’s Children, Young People and Family Therapist, outlined the service: “My role is to support all those children and young people who have been identified by our team, or who have been referred by their families, as requiring specialist psychological care following the death of a loved who has been cared for by St Clare. I run one-to-one counselling sessions with the child or young person, working creatively through the arts, which includes painting, drawing and collage, to help them to get in touch with the emotions and feelings that they find difficult to put into words. These sessions may take place in the Hospice itself, in the child or young person’s school or college, or at a location in their community. Wherever and whenever is most appropriate for that young person.”

Catherine continued: “I also support families with children in our Inpatient Unit at the Hospice, speaking to them about how to break difficult news to children and young people, such as the diagnosis of a life-limiting illness or how to tell a child that their family member or loved one won’t be getting better. I have also been delivering training to our own staff members within the organisation, so that the whole Hospice team is better prepared to help support children and young people going through what can be a very difficult time in their lives.”

Outlining the difference that the Children in Need funding will make to the children and young people St Clare supports, Catherine Kiff said:
“We are so grateful to BBC Children in Need for funding this vital service. This major funding has enabled us to help the children and young people we work with to access and express their emotions and feelings; supporting them on their grieving journey and enabling them to talk about the death of their loved one. 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.”

St Clare Hospice has further plans to develop this service and will be introducing new aspects to the project in early 2018. Catherine Kiff said:
“Since the service launched 6 months ago, I have been working closely with our local schools, and my colleagues in the Hospice, to discover what it is that children and young people would most benefit from in terms of our service. We are excited to be developing some new projects, including art therapy groups, therapeutic workshops and family workshops which will be launching in the New Year – enabling us to help even more children and young people experiencing loss in our communities.”

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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