Why dragonflies hold a special place in the hearts of St Richard’s families

15th May 2019

In almost every part of the world the dragonfly symbolises change and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

At St Richard’s we understand that a serious progressive illness can cause enormous changes within a family and that children in particular may need help through bereavement after someone they love has died.

Children of all ages will sense the feelings of people around them and every child will have different needs depending on their age and development, but they will all need information, reassurance, and the opportunity to express their feelings.

That’s why St Richard’s runs a Dragonfly Group. The group helps bereaved children and young people, together with their parent or carer, through professional support and offers an opportunity to share their experiences with others in a similar situation.

We chose this name for the group after reading Doris Stickney’s tale “Waterbugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children” which tells how waterbugs grow into dragonflies but are unable to return to their friends to explain what has happened to them.

Each group session tends to have a creative theme as the process of making helps the children explore their sense of loss and express their feelings about the loved one that has died. This can include creating memory boxes or salt sculpture jars to hold onto treasured memories or planting forget me not seeds into pots with messages to their loved ones who have died.

Children and young people can gain hugely from these activities and know that those memories are always there to offer them comfort.

 Last year the St Richard’s Family Support Team helped over 2,000 individuals including children and young people.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: To protect patients and staff  from the spread of the virus, we are following national guidance and therefore it is with regret we are not able to accept visitors. Please do not hesitate to contact the In-patient Unit with any questions on 01905 958163. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.