Hospice to extend bereavement service for young people in Essex

(L-R) Carolanne Brannan and Joanne Feld. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

(L-R) Carolanne Brannan and Joanne Feld. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

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

Since the service's launch in June 2017, St Clare Hospice has helped more than 400 children and young people aged 3-18 years who have experienced bereavement - with the support of an initial three-year grant (2017-20) from the BBC Children In Need and further support from the Charles S French Charitable Trust.

This autumn, Children in Need awarded the hospice, in Hastingwood, a second three-year grant for £107,193, which will fund the service from September 2020-23. In addition, another £15,000 grant was awarded to St Clare from the Charles S French Charitable Trust, so that the organisation can extend their bereavement support to 18-21-year-olds.

"We are 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 who are experiencing loss within west Essex and east Hertfordshire," said Carolanne Brannan, director of patient care at St Clare.

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

"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 18-21-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."

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Any child or young person aged 3-21 who is living within west Essex and east Hertfordshire can access bereavement support from St Clare Hospice - including support around coping with a close relative's terminal prognosis. Referrals can be made directly by contacting St Clare Hospice; via a GP or healthcare team; or through a young person's school or educational institution.