It can be very difficult to explain to children what is going on when a loved one becomes ill or there is bereavement in the family. It can be hard to cope with their reactions when you are uncertain of your own, or you may feel a need to protect them from the emotional upset.

St Luke’s is experienced in supporting young people and we can help you when it comes to having difficult conversations with children. We can arrange counselling sessions for children individually or as part of the whole family.

The group aims to support the family unit by providing a safe and friendly environment where young people can feel accepted and secure. Trained staff facilitate the sessions which focus on helping the children understand the loss and change they have experienced. The group is also a place where children can meet others who are in a similar situation. This can help to create a sense of belonging which helps them feel less isolated.

Who can attend?
Children and young people aged 6–16 who have experienced the death, through illness, of someone important to them. The number of sessions available will be discussed at the start. Children decide themselves if and when they wish to join the group, and how often they attend.

How to access the service
A referral form needs to be completed by a healthcare professional, or a parent/guardian can contact St Luke’s Family Support and Counselling Team directly on 01606 551246.
The group is not restricted to those who have accessed other hospice services; however, a referral form is required before attending the Phoenix Group to ensure you fit within the Hospice remit.

For more information please contact our Family Support Team on 01606 555693 or at fsc@slhospice.co.uk.

Useful websites and telephone numbers for support and guidance for children experiencing family illness and bereavement:

www.winstonswish.org.uk 0845 203 0405

www.macmillan.org.uk 0808 808 0000

www.riprap.org.uk for teenagers