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Children in Need: Funding for Saint Francis Hospice counsellors to continue
A specially trained team of counsellors will continue to support young people as they come to terms with the trauma of losing a parent or loved one thanks to a £129,474 grant from Children in Need.
Saint Francis Hospice is delighted to announce that its partnership with Children in Need will continue for another three years - making it the 10th year it has funded our Children’s Bereavement Services.
Every year our Family Support Services team supports hundreds of bereaved children living in Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Brentwood through a number of different approaches such as talking to them openly and honestly about the feelings they are experiencing, listening to their worries and helping them understand and learning to cope with their fears.
Shahina Haque, Family Support Services Manager, said, “We are thrilled that Children in Need is continuing to recognise and value the work that we do.
“The loss of a parent or loved one, no matter how old you are, changes your life forever. “For a young person their parents are their protectors who keep them safe and secure, and this loss can have a devastating impact on the young person.
“You never get over the loss, and we work with the young person to have a voice, to know that they are recognised in this loss and for us to create a safe and secure place for them to explore their vulnerability and build their resilience.”
(L-R) Child and Family Therapist, Stella Christou, Frankie the Lion, Head of Wellbeing Services, Tracie Brennan and Family Support Services Manager, Shahina Haque
Shahina also said the funding will enable the team to recruit another therapist and continue developing its services so it can reach out to more young people.
Often children who have experienced the death of a loved one feel vulnerable and isolated. Helping them to cope with change is another focal point for our experienced counsellors who work with the young people in individual and family sessions where they are encouraged to develop their own support plans.
In group sessions with others going through similar experiences we foster peer support by providing activity and adventure days, where friendships are made through fun in informal settings and this is an aspect of our service that we are hoping to develop further.
The team also works closely with the schools our children attend to help equip and empower staff with the skills they need to provide support at this critical time, and to recognise when support is needed and who to contact for support.