Bereaved children and their families across Bedfordshire, are to benefit from new funding.
For the first time, Keech Hospice Care based in Luton, has received £84,994 from Children in Need for a new Family Support Worker and the hospice’s Bereavement Pathway service.
A grieving father, Gary Conium said he welcomed the funding after his family had benefited from the service.
“Our eldest son Kieran died when he was 10 years old after a relatively short battle with pneumonia,” Mr Conium said.
“From an early stage the therapists of Keech’s Bereavement Pathway service helped our two younger sons to prepare for what lay ahead.
“The service was immensely helpful for our family as I’m sure it has been for many others.
“It has been invaluable throughout our grieving process.
“Without services like this life would be extremely difficult for many families who have already suffered the cruellest of fates,” he said.
Keech Hospice Care’s Children’s Service Bereavement Pathway service offers support to children, their siblings and other family members including one-to-one meetings with a bereavement care worker, a volunteer befriending service, group sessions, working with peer groups in schools and the creation of memory boxes through art and music therapies.
Clare Burden, Supportive Care Lead at Keech Hospice Care said the extra funding will be vital for many local families who have a child with a life-limiting condition.
“Only 30 percent of our funding comes from the National Health Service and therefore we totally rely on the support of the local community and grants like this to enable us to continue,” said Ms Burden.
“Our Bereavement Pathway service allows us to support many children who can feel isolated by their sibling’s condition and confused and unsure about their own future or mortality.
“Children often find it hard to speak to their parents about death and what is happening and feel their friends don’t understand.
“Our Bereavement Pathway service gives these children the opportunity to talk about their feelings with a trained bereavement worker and the skills to discuss the various stages of their sibling’s condition and death with their family and peer group,” she added.