Emotional & Bereavement Support

Emotional Support

We all need emotional support at different times in our lives, family and friends are the main people who provide this support.  If you have a life-limiting or life-threatening condition or are a parent or sibling of a person with a serious medical condition you may need additional support from people who are independent of your family.

It can be difficult for a young person to talk to their close family about their own feelings and fears regarding their future, how their condition may affect their independence and relationships.  At the Hospice there are care team members who have additional training and experience to provide the extra support that is needed at different times in a young person’s life.

"I don't necessarily talk to my family about things that bother me. It's easier when I'm here to offload and to know that it's okay to offload. That's why you're here, to be okay and feel better."


Bereavement Support

The Bereavement Team offers support to parents and to sisters and brothers following the death of their child or sibling.  Parents, brothers and sisters may experience any or all of the following feelings – sadness, anger, confusion, disbelief and isolation.

The support enables adults and children to speak openly about their feelings, to understand their loss and cope with their grief.


Experienced Care team members who hold a Certificate in Counselling contact families approximately 6 weeks after the death of the child or young person to offer bereavement support to the parents.  People are able to choose to have support individually or as a couple.  The support can take place either at the Hospice or in the family home.  Parent’s evenings are held for bereaved parents helping them to meet other parents in an informal and relaxed setting.

Sisters and Brothers

Depending on the age of the sisters or brothers, contact can be made with them or with their parents.

Younger children are invited to our bereaved siblings group call ‘Shining Stars.’

The small group sessions take place at Francis House. The children have the opportunity to explore and express feelings about their grief in a safe environment with experienced care team members.  Shining Stars helps children to develop their own way of remembering their brother or sister both now and in the future.

For older brothers and sisters individual bereavement support is available, which usually takes place in the Hospice, home or in a neutral environment.

"We work with the siblings and give them bereavement support, but there's really nothing better for them than to come together, and actually meet other children who have lost a brother or a sister."

Gio Castro, senior care team and emotional and bereavement support lead