One activity that takes a great deal of planning and organising is the ‘Release’ child bereavement support group overnight stay each year.
All aspects of the trip are organised by our social work/bereavement support team with great precision, right from the time of departure from the Hospice to the time families return the next day.
Anyone who has experienced a bereavement may be aware of the feelings of isolation that can occur, the difficulty in returning to social activities and at times the sense of guilt that can be felt, for something as simple as when you realise you have laughed at something unexpectedly.
For children following a bereavement this can be a great challenge, not wanting to share their emotions with friends for fear of being ‘different’. Not wanting to talk to family because they are also experiencing the bereavement and the emotional experience.
For some families experiencing a bereavement also has a significant impact on their family finances, making trips away out of the question.
The ‘Release’ child bereavement team annual trip is an opportunity to challenge some of these feelings and concerns. Each year for one night, the team take a group of families who have experienced bereavement during the year away for a programme of activities.
Some are structured, exploring thoughts and feelings, others are just for fun. But the aim throughout is to spend time with others who have had similar experiences and to whom you never need to explain why some things are upsetting or difficult for you to do.
Nightingale House Hospice bereavement support is made up of many elements for families known to our team, and we also work closely with other organisations who can support other members of the local community following a bereavement.