Launch of new young people’s bereavement support group

A new support group for children and young people who have been affected by bereavement is being launched on Thursday 23 May.  The group has been developed by the Children and Young People’s Bereavement Support Team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The new group is open to children and young people between the ages of 10 and 18 and will meet fortnightly from Thursday 6 June between 6pm-7.30pm at the Community Learning Centre in the Alan Kelly Stand at Preston North End football ground.  It will be run as a drop-in group by fully trained bereavement support staff and volunteers.

Helen Bradley, bereavement and donation co-ordinator at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “We have worked with a wide range of people to develop the new support group, including young people who have been affected by bereavement, pupils at local schools and staff who specialise in bereavement support at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. We have taken on board all their ideas to ensure that the new group will offer children and young people an opportunity to explore how they feel in a caring environment.” 

The plans for new support group were developed by people with personal experience of the impact of bereavement upon young people.  Kay Crook, data quality manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, is a member of the group.  She said:”Bereavement is a feature of many young people’s lives and it shouldn’t be seen as an issue for ‘experts’ to deal with. We want to empower children to explore their emotions openly.  The new support group will provide a supportive environment where children can deal with their loss and distress, and find a way to move forward that suits their own individual needs.”

Lewis, aged 12, from Cottam in Preston, recently suffered from a bereavement.  He said: “I am completely lost and it feels like a piece of me has gone. The new service will help me meet other young people who feel the same as I do and know that I am not alone.”

To find out more about the group, contact them by phone: 01772 528400, text:  07525196970, or email: CAYP@lthtr.nhs.uk