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Pre & Post Bereavement

The Grief Support project was formed in 1997 to meet the needs of bereaved children, young people and their families.

Over time, service users, staff and other professionals have identified the need for further support. In response to this we have created a pre and post Bereavement service; so children and young people can have access to us before the death of a close family member which helps with their grieving process when the person dies.

In addition we have also added a Loss and Trauma service for children, young people and their families who have experienced loss or trauma caused by mental illness, disability, imprisonment, divorce & separation, becoming a looked after child, moving school/home, alcohol & substance abuse and multiple losses.

Helping children, young people and families when a family member has a diagnosis of cancer.

The early support service aims to support these children and their families by:-

  • Offering advice and pre and post Bereavement support for all family members supporting children
  • Explaining the illness and medical process to the child using age-appropriate resources.
  • Offering individual and family sessions to meet the child and family’s needs

The Grief Support project was formed in 1997 to meet the needs of bereaved children, young people and their families.

Over time, service users, staff and other professionals have identified the need for further support. In response to this we have created a Pre Bereavement service; so children and young people can have access to us before the death of a close family member which helps with their grieving process when the person dies.

In addition we have also added a Loss and Trauma service for children, young people and their families who have experienced loss or trauma caused by mental illness, disability, imprisonment, divorce & separation, becoming a looked after child, moving school/home, alcohol & substance abuse and multiple losses.

The shock of a life-limiting illness will have a profound effect on all family members. Sometimes children and young people might not get the emotional support they need due to a variety of reasons. The Pre Bereavement service aims to support these children and their families by:

  • Working in partnership with other agencies to identify children, young people and families affected by terminal illness.
  • Offering individual, group and family sessions to meet the child and family’s needs.
  • Providing Support Group/Drop in for children and young people.
  • Offering advice and guidance for all family members supporting children.
  • Providing consultation sessions for schools and professionals.

The work that is undertaken is flexible to meet the needs of the child and family, some examples of the work are:

  • Memory work, can include journals, diaries, letters and cards.
  • Explaining the illness and medical process to the child by using age appropriate resources.
  • Mediation to ascertain the young person’s wishes.
  • Planning how limited time is spent together. Support for the family around child/young person’s emotional needs.

The Grief Support Project at Jigsaw4u provides a unique child-centred approach to bereavement support. It is believed that there is no ‘right way to grieve’, so it is important that children and young people are allowed to grieve their own way in their own time.

We aim to offer children and families:

  • An initial meeting in the family home or at Jigsaw4u.
  • Opportunities for families to talk together.
  • Six weekly support groups where parents, children and young people can meet others in similar situations, and share experiences and feelings. These groups are divided into children, teenager and adult groups.
  • A weekend where there is time to talk, grieve and celebrate the life of the person who has died. Time to form new relationships with other families and have fun.
  • A volunteer ‘buddy’ scheme to help the families achieve these aims.
  • Training for schools and professionals to help bereaved families.
  • On-going parent/carer support.
  • Quarterly events for all the family.

During the groups a practical activity is completed each week which is used as a tool for encouraging communication within the group, extending to the family home. The activities vary on a weekly basis; one example of this is the creation of a memory box.

Where group work is not appropriate, we also offer individual sessions in schools. Again, this follows a six-week programme (similar to the family programme) of memory work, exploring feelings and worries.

Testimonials