We believe that no child or young person should suffer in silence following the death of a loved one. We work with children and young people following a bereavement, where the child or young person is struggling in coming to terms with their loss – our focus is always supporting children and young people primarily. In doing so, we also work with the wider family as well. Our services have been developed over decades of experience and understanding what works well. We always want to do our very best for the children and young people that we support and continually evolve our services in order to achieve this. All of our service visitors are invited to Family Therapeutic Days, an important part of bereavement support, as they provide opportunities for remembrance and social connection as well as keeping in contact with others that they meet on their bereavement journey.
(Up to age 11)
A child’s voice is important, so we can understand what bereavement looks and feels like through their eyes.
We work with children through initial one to one sessions, and also make a special memory box of their loved one to bring along to group.
Through group sessions, children then meet others who have also been bereaved. This is where, perhaps for the first time, children realise they are not alone.
The group is a safe space, where children can open up about their experience, ask questions and share. We facilitate this through a range of activities.
(Up to age 5)
The Sandy Cubs group supports parents through telling their children, aged 5 years old and younger, that their loved one has died. The programme includes how much to share and the right words to use with young children. It supports them to think about the child’s experience, what helps a child manage their grief, and if older children are involved, the impact on those too.
Through play, Sandy Cubs develops positive ongoing relationships to aid remembrance and in doing so, increases the child’s self-esteem and emotional wellbeing when remembering a loved one. It provides a deeper sense of security for the child.
Strengthening a child’s ‘root’ of belonging stabilises emotional development and this is crucial for a young child, for emotional resilience and wellbeing in later life.
Alongside children’s group, we also run a supported parents/carers group as well.
Through group, adults will meet other individuals who are experiencing bereavement. Group work is a crucial model in bereavement support with peer support being widely held as an important way of helping people.
Parents have support alongside their children to get to a place where they can ensure that their child’s journey through grief is sustained.
We also offer support to teenagers who are struggling with bereavement. Young people have a greater understanding of the impact of losing a loved one. It is important to realise that young people are not adults and that bereavement can have a profound impact if they are not able to find their voice and express their fears and feelings. We help them to normalise their feelings and also to give them strategies and tools to support them through their challenging times.