This week is Childhood Bereavement Week, a time designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the benefits they obtain through the support of others.
Ardgowan Hospice’s Patient & Family Support team have a long history of helping children and young people learn to cope with bereavement – teaching coping mechanisms, offering 1-2-1 counselling sessions and educating adults on helpful terminology and actions they can use to help a young person through a period of loss.
We recently spoke to one young person who utilised our services and went on to play an intrinsic role in the creation of a bereavement policy in Clydeview – the first school in our council area to have one.
Here’s what Ben Kane had to say:
“The work of Ardgowan Hospice in providing training and materials to ensure these sessions function effectively has been vitally important and has allowed Clydeview to become the first school in the council area to have such a space for kids who suffer bereavement.”
“The stigma around bereavement and mental health is one that society has been consumed by for many years especially amongst young people. The death of a loved one is often disregarded as an issue and that the initial shock is one that can be simply brushed aside after a short period of time. However, those who experience this know full well that the mental scarring of being bereaved especially at a young age is one that cannot be brushed aside so easily.
The support kids need in such a life changing period is often lacking and it was time that direct action was taken to ensure we provided kids with the vital support they need in such a time. On the back of this alongside Mrs Tait we founded Clydeview Bereavement Support.
With Mrs Tait’s expertise and my personal experience alongside a combined strong willingness we forged a path for the kids of Clydeview Academy to be afforded the help every child deserves. Clydeview now offers a support group for those struggling with death and loss through activities that encourage open minded and honest thinking along with 1 to 1 support to ensure they feel comforted and most importantly not alone.
The work of Ardgowan Hospice in providing training and materials to ensure these sessions function effectively has been vitally important and has allowed Clydeview to become the first school in the council area to have such a space for kids who suffer bereavement.
The work of Ardgowan Hospice and Mrs Tait working hand in hand has been the bedrock of the success of the group and has left a strong connection and partnership with Clydeview Academy and Ardgowan Hospice to continue to carry out this vital role in kid’s lives.
With all these combined efforts we were able to make Clydeview a safe space for those dealing with loss. As we look to continue the work done in Clydeview I’d also encourage and support other schools in affording kids across Inverclyde and Scotland the same opportunity as we begin to start a new chapter in supporting young people in Scottish schools with bereavement.”
– Ben Kane