Bereavement support

We understand that the death of a child is one of the most heart-breaking experiences a family will ever go through. Even though grieving is a natural response, it can be so painful and overwhelming that day-to-day living may become hard to manage. Sometimes additional help is needed — someone to talk to who will listen in a different way.

If you need support now Griefchat is available 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday via the chat box at the bottom of this page.

Adult and child hands clasped

How we can support you

We offer support to all families following the death of their child. Support is tailored to the family's needs and can take place at the hospice or in local counselling rooms. In some circumstances home visits may be possible.

Our care team are here to give help and guidance with practical arrangements. They can also help with making keepsakes using finger, hand or footprints of the child.

GriefChat

Grief Chat Logo Sml1

If you need immediate bereavement support, you can chat online with a specially trained bereavement counsellor by clicking on the GriefChat box below. GriefChat is a completely free service and is available Monday - Friday, 9am-9pm (except Bank Holidays).

GriefChat counsellors are experienced in supporting bereaved people and will listen to your story, explore how your grief is affecting you and help you to find any additional support you might need.

GriefChat provides emotional support for bereaved people, access to trained bereavement counsellors and referral into other specialist bereavement services.

Three women stood in front of Martin House back drop

Our bereavement team

We have an experienced bereavement team who have dedicated time to offer support to you. A member of the team will contact you four to six weeks following your child's death to introduce themselves and your bereavement support options.

Our service

We offer a bereavement service to families whose child has died of a life-shortening condition or who has died from a sudden or traumatic death.  The service, delivered by our experienced and specialist bereavement support workers and counsellors, is available to those who have used our services and also to those who have not.

The aim is to provide an opportunity to talk through feelings and find ways of coping within a supportive, confidential and professional relationship.

Our offer is made up of:

  • meetings for individuals or couples
  • groups sessions for bereaved parents
  • group sessions for bereaved brothers and sisters
  • group sessions for grandparents
  • sessions for parents and children together
Three children doing art work outside with three adults.

Support for siblings

Following the death of a brother or sister, children often express their grief differently from adults.  It can be helpful for them to have the opportunity to be in the safe and supportive environment with other children whose brother or sister has also died.

Our carefully planned and therapeutic activities, which also include family workshops and a residential weekend, give children the opportunity to explore and understand their grief, thoughts and feelings in relation to their brother or sister and their parents. Through fun games and activities, the death of their brother or sister is acknowledged.

Bereaved sibling group — Time4us2

This group offers bereaved brothers and sisters a chance to come together to work through their grief whilst having fun with others who understand. The sessions are held on the same day as the bereaved parents group and are facilitated by our experienced staff

We want the children to know that we are there to help and support them.

We see how children dip in and out of sadness, they can play happily one minute yet be tearful or quiet and withdrawn the next.  Children can also hide their feelings from their parents to protect them.

The groups are an opportunity to meet other children in a similar situation, and to see that there is no right or wrong way to feel.  We also help them to develop resources for times in the future when they might particularly miss their brother or sister.

Expectant/new mums previously bereaved group

This group runs to support expectant or new mums and dads who have previously been bereaved of a child. It runs monthly as a drop in over a coffee and gives them a chance to discuss their worries and anxieties with others who are in a similar situation.

Group of mums and babies with music therapist.

Bereaved parent group

Our years of experience in offering groups to bereaved families ensures sessions are tailored to meet the needs of those attending. The sessions are designed to allow time for reflection through discussion, working alongside other bereaved parents to gain valuable support from others who understand. This programme runs on six Saturdays throughout the year. Our approach is informal and supportive, and our sessions are facilitated by experienced members of the bereavement and care team. Each session has a theme linked to the various aspects of grief.

Bereaved grandparent group

Over several years, we have recognised the need and importance of offering support to bereaved grandparents.This group is held twice per year and offers bereaved grandparents a chance reflect on their grief. Many are so involved in supporting their children with their grief that they don’t find time to acknowledge their own feelings. It is facilitated by our trained staff and gives an opportunity to meet informally and share experiences with other grandparents.

Light up a Life

We hold Light up a Life services across the region during December. This provides further opportunities for family members to remember their loved ones.

Remembrance Day

Every year, we have a Day of Remembrance at the hospice for children that have died within the last two years.

Referral criteria

We accept referrals which relate to the death of a baby, child or young person, including sudden and unexpected death, but not related to miscarriage or stillbirth as these are covered by other organisations and charities.

If the child was known to us prior to his or her death, the referral will be automatically accepted. For those that have never used our services, the upper age limit for referral is 25.

Referral forms

Anyone can refer e.g. health, social or education professionals. Parents or carers can also self-refer. To refer, please complete one of our referral forms.

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