Bereavement support for the whole family
A family’s ‘contacts’ and other members of the Care Team are available to provide bereavement support for the whole family.
We will always be happy to talk with a family about their child and will be in regular contact by phone, particularly in the early weeks following a child’s death.
A family’s contact with the hospice does not end here; we know that for many families the hospice has become a special place. Families will be offered a bereavement stay or visit to the hospice and will be invited back to a Remembering Day and all our usual activities which are open to all families such as the fete and Christmas gatherings.
There are also opportunities provided to meet with other parents in a group setting.
Brothers and sisters often need extra support. Our Sibling Workers are trained to provide support to siblings. They will also keep in contact with them in the future and provide support when needed.
At Children’s Hospice South West we continue the relationship that we have made with our families, accompanying them on their child’s life journey and continuing alongside them after their child’s death.
During the year we hold events for bereaved families. Remembering days are held each year for all bereaved families. It is a chance for them to meet up with families they got to know while they were staying with us. Families can develop lasting friendships and can offer each other mutual support. There are various activities arranged that families can take part in, which focus on remembering their child. More importantly, it can also be a valuable time to return to the hospice and meet with the care team.
Our care and support for families does not end when their child dies. All our care team members provide important bereavement care.
Starborn is a very special room in our hospices. It is here where children can lie after their death, and allows for a very private space for families to say their goodbyes. The room is comforting and peaceful and can be personalised for each child by being filled with their most loved toys, or with their favourite music playing.
It is overwhelmingly sad when a family watch one of their children die and we are here to support families every step of the way, helping them through bereavement and beyond. Many find this room an important first step in the grieving process.
You helped in making our stays full of memories and after our daughter passed in 2005 you still take the time to send anniversary cards. It's lovely to receive them and you all will always have a special place in our hearts.
Support when needed
We stay alongside families, offering support, throughout their child's life and after death.
On average, most children, young people and families who use CHSW hospices use our service for an average of six years, many for longer. This means that the child and family develop a very close relationship with the care team staff. For this reason, after their child's death it is the same care staff who provide bereavement support to the family. Bereavement care is tailored to the needs and wishes of the family and many return to our annual Remembering Day or Bereavement Weekend at each hospice. There are also opportunities provided to meet with other parents in a group setting.