Family Support Services for Children – Pre and Post Bereavement
The Rainbow Project
What is The Rainbow Project?
The Rainbow Project provides support to children aged under 18 and their families following a diagnosis of a life limiting illness or the death of a loved one.
Whether the death is expected or sudden, children need to understand what has happened so that they can process the pain of loss and move forward with hope.
Talking to them in a clear, straightforward, sensitive way can help while ensuring they feel included makes them feel secure. No-one can take away the pain of grief – it is the price we pay for love. But helping children to understand and manage their feelings can make a real difference.
This is a free service and is open to all in our catchment area, regardless of whether you have already received support from our nurses at Tynedale Hospice at Home.
How We Can Help
- We can provide home visits to families or see them in our specially equipped Rainbow Room
- Access to resources, e.g. books and workbooks
- Support to schools and others working with children
- After school clubs and Rainbow Day workshops twice a year
Rainbow Day – A Bi-annual Workshop for Children Supported by the Rainbow Project
Research and experience has helped us develop a day that encourages children to share their stories in a safe, confidential and caring environment using crafts, music, story-telling and play to build confidence, help children relax and talk about their feelings.
Children are supported by a dedicated team of staff and trained volunteers.
Rainbow Club – An After School Club for Children aged 4 to 13
Meeting other children who are also grieving the death of someone they love can be a comfort and relief. And talking about their feelings openly, in a warm, confidential and supportive setting, can help them understand what has happened and cope with what the future may bring. That is the ethos behind our Rainbow Club which is held every two weeks. Here, groups of children come together to talk about their experiences, make new friends and play with the gentle encouragement and guidance of our team of trained support workers.
We also have a team of trained support volunteers who play an important part in the work we do.
Activity Groups for Older Children
There is no timescale with grief and it’s important to support people when they need us. Our Young Ambassadors group gives young people the chance to come together, after the death of a loved one, to share their experiences of how life is now – and to continue to build resilience and strength for the future.
Older children also get the chance to meet up and share their experience of grief at our Rubik’s group.
Advice for Parents
A natural instinct of parents is to want to protect their children from pain. However, it is much better to be honest with them and to talk about death and dying. We know children can feel confused and angry when excluded from family discussions surrounding the illness or death.
Bereaved Children Need:
- Truthful information given in an appropriate way
- The opportunity to grieve in their own way, to be listened to and to have their feelings respected
- Ways to hold on to memories and relationships; children’s fear of forgetting the person who has died is very common
- Reassurance that it is normal and ok to want to play and have fun even while grieving
What We Can Offer
- An active listening service provided by practitioners and volunteers with specialist training in child bereavement.
- We also offer advice on where to go for help.
What We Don’t Offer
- Counselling service
- Family therapy
- Medical advice
- Social work services
If you would like to speak to us further about pre or post bereavement Family Support for children please call our team on 01434 600384.