29th June 2018

Activity days support bereaved young people

Bereaved teenagers, children and their families have taken part in bespoke support and activity days aimed at helping with aspects of grief they may be facing.

The hospice’s Family Support Team ran two different activity sessions one for teenagers and the other for younger children and their families. Both groups spent time in support sessions at St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester and team building activities at Upton Warren Aztec Adventure centre near Droitwich.

The aim of the tailored sessions was to support young people who have been bereaved, helping them to build relationships, to talk about their feelings and to meet others in similar situations whilst also having fun.

St Richard’s Social Worker Rebecka Sparks said, “Our fist activity day was  particularly aimed at supporting teenagers, giving them the opportunity to share and explore their experiences and feelings about their bereavement. By bringing young people together it can often help them feel less isolated and the team building activities were a great way to promote this connection with others.”

She added, “The group benefited from being able to spend time with other young people who have similar experiences but without having to talk in great detail.  Breaking the day into two parts gave them the chance to talk and also have fun. They were very positive about the day and particularly found it helpful using creativity as a way of expressing their thoughts and feelings.”

An activity weekend offering bereavement support for younger children and their parent or carer included team building exercises and activities designed to help them look at feelings, memories, support networks and coping strategies for managing the future.

Young people attending the support days are those who have had a loved one cared for by St Richard’s Hospice or are receiving help from Bereavement Support South Worcestershire following a sudden or traumatic death.

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative and end of life care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their loved ones. Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,300 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.

The hospice strives to provide the best medical, practical, emotional and social support they can to help people live life to the fullest, as independently as they can, for as long as they can. They care for people with a range of illnesses including heart failure, Parkinson’s, and motor neurone disease as well as cancer.

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations for three quarters of its annual £8.8m income with the remainder from the NHS.

St Richard’s has launched the Build 2020 Appeal which aims to raise the final £1.4m needed to build a bigger hospice, enabling more patients and families to be cared for in Worcestershire.  The total cost for expanding and redeveloping the existing building in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, is £5.3m.