** Important information for current clients and new referrals **

Temporary changes to Harlington Hospice Child and Adolescent Bereavement Service (CABS) – Covid-19

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and keeping in line with Government Guidance, we have made temporary changes to the current Harlington Hospice ‘Child and Adolescent Bereavement Service’. This includes face-to-face individual, family and group sessions. We now provide bereavement support to children, young people and their families/carers through telephone or video sessions.

We appreciate that Covid-19 pandemic has caused much anxiety, grief and loss and would like to reassure you that during these challenging times, we are committed to doing the best we can to support families so they can access advice, information and therapeutic support.

If you need further information about the changes to our service please contact the Child and Adolescent Bereavement Service Manager at the following email address: [email protected]

Here are some useful links on how to speak to your child about Corvid-19 Virus please follow the links below: www.cruse.org.uk/coronavirus/children-and-young-people www.winstonswish.org/coronavirus-supporting-bereaved-children-and-young-people/

For children and young people returning to school after the lockdown period: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/returning-school-after-lockdown

Child and Adolescent Bereavement:

‘Children's reactions to bereavement are affected by many factors. These may be to do with who has died, how they died, what their relationship was with the person, how the family expresses their feelings, what other things are going on at the same time and whether their school and home community are supportive. Important factors will include the child or young person's age and their understanding of what has happened, and whether they are naturally quite resilient or quite anxious’. (Child Bereavement Network - UK)

At the Child and Adolescent Bereavement Service (CABS) at Harlington Hospice, we understand that children and young people express their emotions around grief in loss in many different ways. Sometimes children can present emotions that can seem uncharacteristic or worrying for family members. This may take the form of appearing to be coping fine or having changeable behaviours such as sadness, anger, night terrors, anxiety, guilt, physical pain, or difficulties concentrating or attending school.

Bereavement can also bring up difficult experiences from the past or trigger old problems that were thought to be resolved. We can support children and young people to make sense of these feelings and to have a better understanding of themselves for a healthier future.

CABS Art Therapy Room

What can you do to help your grieving child:

Every experience of grief is unique, children and young people learn to cope with the death of someone important in their own way.

It may be helpful to consider the following when supporting the child you care for.

· To share clear, honest and age-appropriate information

· Reassurance that they are not to blame and that different feelings are OK.

· Try to keep normal routines and reassure by demonstrating that important adults are there for them.

· Taking time to talk about what has happened, ask questions and create memories.

· Being listened to and given time to grieve in their own way

(Child Bereavement UK)

Our Team:

The Child and Adolescent Bereavement Service provide specialist bereavement therapy, which addresses the social and emotional needs of bereaved children, young people and their families/carers. Our Creative Arts Therapists are fully qualified Health and Care Profession Council (HCPC) registered professionals with a Master's Degree in Art Psychotherapy and specialist training in bereavement support.

What do we offer?

We offer Creative Arts Therapy support to children and young people aged 4–17 years and their families, who live in the London Borough of Hillingdon. This service is available to those who have experienced bereavement or have someone close to them with a life-limiting illness.

· 1:1 Individual art therapy sessions

· Groups sessions according to age group

· Family sessions

How can Art Therapy help?

Art Therapy uses art materials that can help express feelings of grief and loss that are often too difficult to put into words. The artwork created in the sessions often helps children and young people discuss their feelings with the art therapist. The Art Therapist provides a selection of art materials such as paints, felt tip pens, crayons and clay. Art therapy is especially helpful with reducing feelings of anxiety and isolation and making sense of traumatic memories and experiences. It can also be very helpful in creating precious memories through the art making.

CABS Art Therapy Bags for online sessions – Decorate your own bag and create memories.

How to make a referral: Referral form can be downloaded here

We accept referrals from schools, healthcare professionals, parents and carers. Young people aged 16 and over can self-refer. We respond to all referrals made within 2 working days and arrange to speak with you for a telephone assessment within 2 weeks from the date of accepting the referral. Referrals are added to the CABS waiting list, and we aim to schedule individual or groups sessions within 3 months from the assessment date.

Please be aware that we are not an immediate crisis service but we can offer advice and signposting to appropriate services if you feel a child or young person is in need of urgent help. Please click here for more information on bereavement and safeguarding resources.

For more information call: 0300 365 3300 Or email: [email protected]

The children’s service is supported by The Hillingdon Community Trust (South of the Borough)  and our core funding is provided by Heathrow Airport Limited and BBC Children In Need.