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Supporting bereaved children

Proudly serving our community for more than 30 years, Thames Hospice offers world-class palliative and end-of-life care and support to people aged 16 and over across East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.

Our vision is quality of life, to the end of life and we treat everyone with kindness and compassion and provide a safe and caring environment which is at the heart of everything we do to support families facing a life-limiting illness.

We provide the highest quality nursing, medical and therapeutic care supporting the physical, social and emotional needs of our patients and their loved ones. We offer a wide range of therapies to support our patients’ physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs including counselling and complementary therapies covering an area of roughly a million people.

As a result of the pandemic, there is an urgent need for our sector to look for new ways to improve the delivery of care to those who are terminally ill and to prepare and support their families through bereavement. Demand for our services is increasing faster than we have ever seen before. In October 2021 we moved to our new Hospice building at Bray Lake near Maidenhead, which has doubled our capacity and allowed us to provide better long term care for more patients and their families.

We have applied to the Innovation Fund to enable us to offer two family days for bereaved children, young people and their parents/carers. We hope to offer a Christmas 2021 event and a summer event in 2022.

Our Family Days will help children and young people facing the loss of a close family member, to establish connections and relationships with others around them going through the same experience, and to give them a sense of community in which they feel included and not the odd one out.

This work is needed more than ever due to the impact of the pandemic, more traumatic deaths and where children and young people have been cut off from family and support networks.

Thames Hospice already offers one to-one and family sessions with our trained Family & Patient Support Team to help prevent bereavement having a chronic impact on their lives, which could be long-lasting and the family days will allow us to develop peer-support activities equipping the children and their families with coping strategies that can be used long into the future when our specialist bereavement support has reached completion.

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