Background ‘Our Space’ is an exciting new development created in partnership with children and young people, we recognise the rights and needs of children to grieve and be heard. Most of the children and young people we support are bereaved or have a family member who is being cared for by the hospice team. We were determined to advocate and work in partnership with children and young people to provide child-centred compassionate support, to increase opportunities to express feelings of grief and loss, to create an environment that lends itself to children and young people - a dedicated space.
How we did this The Family Support team carried out a number of consultations working with services users and agencies from across the hospice community.
The findings Children and young people reported a lack of understanding from a wide range of professionals. Not being respected for their knowledge, experience of living with a dying parent or relative.
Often excluded from discussion of care regarding a parent for whom they were main carer or involved in caring. Not always given the opportunity to talk about the impact of supporting and living with a dying parent or relative.
Children and young people shared heartfelt personal experiences which supported our concerns regarding the following:
Young carers described the challenges accessing support, spoke candidly about the restrictions and barriers they faced, and talked about the need to have some time away, to work out their feelings and wanting a safe space.
What we did A young persons’ advisory group was formed and led on the development and design of ‘Our Space’.
Collaboration with the local community to fundraise for the build of ‘Our Space’ in the hospice’s gardens.
Opening of a dedicated resource for children and young people within an adult hospice ensuring their voices, views hopes and aspirations are at the heart of the care and support we provide.
Development of peer support groups.