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Children in Need grant funds St Clare Hospice bereavement counselling for children and young people

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St Clare Hospice has secured more than £120,000 in grants to support the development of its children, young people and family bereavement service.

Children In Need has awarded the charity a second three-year grant for £107,193, which will fund the service from September 2020 to 2023.

In addition, a £15,000 grant was awarded by the Charles S French Charitable Trust so that the hospice can extend its bereavement support to 18- to 21-year-olds.

Carolanne Brennan and Joanne Feld (21103192)
Carolanne Brennan and Joanne Feld (21103192)

Since the service was launched in June 2017, the hospice has helped over 400 local children and young people aged three to 18 who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Carolanne Brannan, director of patient care at St Clare, said: “We're absolutely elated that we have received another three years of funding from BBC Children In Need, which will enable St Clare to continue offering vital, professional support to young people experiencing loss in West Essex and East Herts.

“Bereavement can be an extremely difficult experience for anyone to cope with, but children and young people require specialist counselling and therapy that's different to how we’d support adults.

"With thanks to Children In Need, we launched the service by recruiting a children, young people and family therapist to deliver this vital bereavement support. Now, two years on, Children In Need has also enabled us to recruit a second therapist to help strengthen and grow this service, meaning that we can continue to be there for local young people – now and in the future. Without this funding, we couldn’t be able to deliver this essential care.

“The fact that we are now able to further develop the service and extend this support to 18- to 21-year-olds, with thanks to the Charles S French Charitable Trust, is fantastic and means that we’ll be able to reach more people who need us than ever – one of our important strategic aims here at the hospice.”

Patient and family support team manager Sushma Dhami said: “The support we offer includes counselling, creative therapy and psychoeducation, which is therapeutic intervention that provides information and support so young people can better understand and cope with their feelings.”

Children, young people and family therapist Joanne Feld said: “Extending our project will help young adults to positively transition from secondary school to university or to work.

"As they will have been at school for around 14 years, leaving can feel very strange. They might also be moving away from home and becoming independent, so could experience insecurities.

"Situations like these can trigger a reaction to previous losses, but now we’ll be able to be there for young adults experiencing this, supporting them to build emotional resilience for their lifetime.”

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