Duncan’s Den, as the room is known, has been fully revamped and provides a safe and comfortable space for children to spend time when visiting relatives at the hospice, as well as a place where they can talk to the hospice’s bereavement support volunteers. The room is full of toys, activities and a special memory tree where children can leave messages for their loved ones.
The hospice offers bereavement support in addition to providing specialist end of life care to local people with life-limiting conditions. This support has recently been expanded to make sure children and teenagers can have someone to talk to when they lose someone close to them.
Srinder Singh, Head of Family Support Services at Katharine House, leads the Bereavement Service that helps people come to terms with the illness and death of a loved one. She is also responsible for expanding the support to children and teenagers and had a leading role in the redevelopment of Duncan’s Den. Srinder said:
“We know that the illness does not just affect the patient. Families and friends are affected too. We are so pleased to be able to provide bereavement support to young people who have a family member facing a life-limiting illness. Experiencing the illness and loss of a close family member is hard for anyone, but it can be more difficult for children and teenagers who may struggle to understand and articulate their feelings. The refurbishment of Duncan’s Den gives children somewhere to play and spend time when they are visiting a family member at the hospice, and provides a place where they can just be themselves.”
The support for children includes bereavement sessions, where they can talk to a trained support worker to help them identify problems and find ways to cope with their emotions. There is also a bereavement pack, which includes toys and colouring books for younger children, and journals and a DVD for teenagers.
For more information visit Katharine House Hospice