It can be very difficult to explain to children what is going on when a loved one becomes ill or there is bereavement in the family. It can be hard to cope with their reactions when you are uncertain of your own, or you may feel a need to protect them from the emotional upset.

St Luke’s is experienced in supporting young people and we can help you when it comes to having difficult conversations with children. We can arrange counselling sessions for children individually or as part of the whole family.

We have a bereavement group specifically for children aged six to seventeen called the ‘Phoenix Project’ which provides a supportive, safe environment where children can feel accepted. It helps them to accept the loss of someone close to them by meeting other children in a similar situation, providing practical tools to help them to cope and most importantly by having fun! Trained staff members facilitate the age appropriate sessions, leading fun activities ranging from arts and crafts to storytelling and games.

The group meets on a regular basis in the Hospice, from 6.30pm – 8.15pm on the third Thursday of each month. Children need not have any prior connection to St Luke’s, only to have experienced bereavement through illness.

For more information please contact our Family Support Team on 01606 555693 or at fsu@stlukes-hospice.co.uk.

Useful websites and telephone numbers for support and guidance for children experiencing family illness and bereavement:

www.winstonswish.org.uk 0845 203 0405

www.macmillan.org.uk 0808 808 0000

www.riprap.org.uk for teenagers