Losing a family member at any age is difficult, which is why The Myton Hospices has a dedicated bereavement service for both adults and children.
Charlotte’s Grandad, Raymond, died in 2009 of Leukaemia. He had wanted to come to Warwick Myton Hospice but sadly never made it. The Macmillan Nurse who was supporting Raymond’s family contacted our children’s bereavement service, Rainbow Ripples, seeing that Charlotte and her sister Sophie could benefit from having someone to talk to.
Charlotte and Sophie – aged 15 and 13 respectively – came to a Rainbow Ripples session at Myton to see if it was for them. Charlotte found the service really useful and continued to regularly attend the Rainbow Ripples workshops until she was 18 years-old. Although Charlotte was then too old to continue attending the sessions, she was invited back by the Counselling Leader to be a facilitator.
I found the workshops very therapeutic because we did lots of arts and crafts, and there were older children who came too. It was predominantly younger children but you all build up a relationship because you know you’re all in the same boat. We shared stories and had discussion groups. For one of the workshops one of the facilitators had managed to get some pillows made for us which we could use as a self-help tool; we filled them with things like tissues or sweets or jokes, anything which we thought would help us with the emotions we were feeling.
“When I turned 18 I was too old to attend the workshops, but Myton asked me to help as a facilitator. I didn’t realise how much planning goes into the sessions – as a child or a teenager attending you think the workshops just happen but there is so much involved in planning them! It’s so exciting when the weekend arrives – there are families who have been coming for years, others who are very new – and it’s all about helping them as much as possible. We spend the Saturday talking about their feelings and working through that, then we make the Sunday a lot lighter and get the parents, carers or grandparents involved and make it fun to remind everyone it is okay to be happy too.
“Myton has also had the MyTeens service since 2015 – when children get to secondary school age they don’t attend the Rainbow Ripples workshops and instead there is a monthly meeting for them. A four year-old’s grief is different to a 14 year-old’s. They discuss whatever they feel they need to. We’ve had a session where we’ve had a Doctor, a Funeral Director and a Nurse attend and they can ask whatever questions they want to. They don’t feel like they can ask their parents or carers certain questions in case it upsets them, but they come to Myton and feel that they can ask these questions.”
Rainbow Ripples currently runs three workshops a year for reception age to first year of senior school children. Then older children can attend ‘MyTeens’ sessions which run on the months when there isn’t a Rainbow Ripples workshop.
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is the daily upkeep cost of our relatives accommodation
could fund two hours of specialist nursing care
could fund a child to attend five bereavement counselling sessions
covers the cost of one Myton at Home visit
Your donation is the daily upkeep cost of our relatives accommodation
Your donation could fund two hours of specialist nursing care
Your donation could fund a child to attend five bereavement counselling sessions
Your donation covers the cost of one Myton at Home visit
Every donation helps us to provide quality end of life care