Children & young people

How we support children and young people

How we help and what children can expect from us

This page is completely for the children, so they can really understand what we do and how we help. We have tried to give all of the information you might need to understand what we do and how we help you, because we know that it can seem a little scary at first.

We asked some of the children we’ve previously supported for help with this page, to make sure that everything you might be worried or concerned about, is covered so that you don’t feel scared when you come to HOLG.

We are focused on helping and supporting you, the child or young person, but will also speak with your family and carers too, to enable them to better understand your grief, bereavement, emotions, feelings, fears and concerns, so that you can all move forward together.

There might be things you can’t or don’t want to share with your family about how you feel.

We offer a safe space to share what’s on your mind and work through anything difficult.

There’s no right or wrong during bereavement and we are here for you.

Here’s how we help you:

Telephone/video call

We usually start with a phone call or video call, so that you can start to get to know Debbie and Emily, who you will be supported by.

They will speak with you and your family or carers, to find out what you need help with and what you would like to gain from our help.

You might need a little bit of help or a lot and we can decide on what happens next, together.

You will always be involved and always know what’s happening.

Resource pack

We will send you a resources pack, full of age-appropriate things to help you to share your emotions, understand how you feel, answer questions about your behaviour and start to help and see how you will come through your grief and bereavement – because you will.

Being creative with drawings, paintings, collages, cooking, baking, writing and music can really help you to share how you feel; we know that finding the words isn’t always easy.

Support sessions (online or face-to-face)

We might think that you need a little more help from us, so we will start some sessions with you. We usually do six sessions and then see where we are after that. They are either face-to-face or online – whatever you prefer. If you choose to meet us face-to-face, this can be where you would like it to be too – at home, at school, at a friend or relative’s house; wherever you are comfortable. During these sessions, we will answer your questions, look to the future, talk about the death and give you all the help and support to help you to hold onto your precious memories and let go of the sad ones. We’ll also talk to others around you – friends, family and your school, to help them to understand better, how you feel and what you need.

Bereavement support weekend

Our bereavement support weekends may sound daunting at first, but children who come to them and feel just like you, are often so glad they came.

Here’s what it’s all about:

  • Meet other bereaved children and young people

  • Find out their stories

  • Stop feeling alone as the only bereaved person at school

  • Make new friends who understand what grief is

  • Learn to cope with difficult feelings

  • Take part in special memory making activities

It’s fun – and not sad and gloomy as many think before they come!

What we do:

We’re very creative and love to get stuck into it – because it helps you to express how you’re feeling. Sometimes, words are hard to use when you are bereaved.

  • Drawing

  • Music

  • Poetry

  • Painting

  • Games

  • Talking

  • Sharing

  • Writing

  • Asking questions

Memory box:

This is something you can take home and keep, to put precious memories and mementoes in. You can make some to start it off, then add to it over the years ahead.

What happens:

You don’t sleep over with us, but you do come on both Saturday and Sunday.

You’ll be in a room with other young people attending the programme plus the team of helpers and your parents and carers will be in another.

You don’t need to bring anything – it’ll all be here for you – materials, instruments and tasty food too! But we would love you to bring any special things that you would like to put on the memory table.

You will be nervous, but only for the first bit – once you’ve met us and made some friends, you will enjoy yourself.

What your parents/carers will be doing:

Your parents and carers can also attend a group for the time you’re with us too, so that they can get some help to understand how you’re feeling and why you might sometimes get very sad, go a bit crazy or not want to do as you’re told!

They’ll be learning lots so that they can support you when you get home!

Many of our families start to get along better and have less arguments or unhappy words with each other after they’ve all been to our weekends, and we hope the same for you.

Find out what other children thought of our bereavement support weekends.

Oh – and if you need us again in the future, we are here, any time you need us. Don’t think you can only see us once – you can see us again and again as you grow up, as and when you need us.

What children have said:

I now don’t feel like the odd one out.

I’ve had my feelings understood and accepted.

I’m able to recognise my own feelings, and when to ask for help.

I’m more able to tolerate the impact of others’ grief.

I now know that others felt angry too, it wasn’t just me.

Don’t worry about going to the weekend – it’s OK and you will have fun.

It’s nice to talk about how you feel and you can be yourself.

You’re not forced to do anything you don’t want to. You can do as much or as little as you like without being judged.

It will help you with your emotions and you will enjoy it.

It’s OK, to feel scared – I was at first – but everyone is really nice.

It’s OK, because everyone is there for the same reason – someone special has died.

There is a variety of activities to do, which help us to remember the special person, and it’s lovely to hear about other people’s special people too.

I realised I wasn’t alone: others felt the same as me.

I made new friends.

The food was lovely!

Read how we’ve supported other families at their bereavement support weekends.