It is our instinct to want to protect children from the impact of anything that could cause them harm and dealing with a loved one who has a serious illness or the death of a relative is not something any of us want for our children. At Woking & Sam Beare Hospices we recognise the importance of working with you and your family to find the best ways to help children and teenagers come to terms with their own emotional distress and bereavement.
We can offer support on a one-to-one bases but also run some special support groups just for children and teenagers, who can be referred through the hospice or the HUB programme (see below).
Footsteps is a support group for children under 12 years of age who have lost a relative or someone close to them. Its aim is to help them come to terms with their loss and acknowledge their feelings. This is managed by our team of experts through small support group work with other children who are in a similar situation. Footsteps meet every six weeks and through arts and crafts projects, we try to help children remember their loved one through the medium of creativity.
Thanks to the generosity of Mizzens Railway in Woking, our families have the opportunity, once a year, to come along and enjoy the miniature railway, play games and take part in a special remembrance ceremony.
The Tommy D Project
Thomas Di Felice was tragically killed in a road accident on the 15th December 2009. He was 17 years old. His parents, family and friends have tirelessly raised money for the Hospices, and their generous donations enabled the Tommy D Project to be launched. The Tommy D Group meets in the evening of the second Thursday of each month in Woking and supports young people, under the age of 18, who have been bereaved. The group find comfort in the support of their peers and take part in many social activities such as bowling, outdoor survival and meals out.
HUB Programme (Helping Understand Bereavement)
This is a unique psycho-educational programme offered through local schools, which has been specifically designed to help children and young people understand the complex aspects of bereavement and the possible responses they may experience. Any young person who has experienced bereavement may attend the programme, though places are limited to 6 attendees per programme. This is to ensure that the facilitators can give each attendee the support required. The programme runs for six weeks and is once a week for one full hour.