Individuals can refer themselves to the community bereavement service up to two years after the death of a child, and health care professionals can also make a referral with the full consent of the family. Each referral is considered by the children’s hospice on an individual basis.
The service is provided free of charge and is open to families across North, West and East Yorkshire and the Humber. It is intended to give families the opportunity to discuss the challenges they face following the death of a child with a life-limiting illness, and to support them to manage their grief in a positive way.
“A child’s death is one of the most heart-breaking experiences that a family can ever go through,” Mark Clayton, chaplain and bereavement team coordinator at Martin House, explained. “Grief is a natural response and some families do find their own ways of coping.
“Some, however, may benefit from additional support and someone who can listen in a different way. We can now offer this to families for whom hospice care may not have been suitable, but who have encountered the same experiences as many of those who have been supported by Martin House.
“We understand the challenges faced when caring for a life-limited child and this allows families to talk through their feelings with someone who is both impartial and informed. Support will be tailored to individual needs, whether this is a phone call or a one-to-one session, and arrangements can be made to support families wherever in the region they live.”
Find out more about the service on the Martin House website.