What We Do
Touchstones Child Bereavement Support works with children and young people who have suffered the loss of a mum or dad, brother or sister, grandparent, friend or any other significant person in their lives
Touchstones is there to help our children and young people through their pain and restore hope in the future.
We deliver a free programme of support for any child or young person between the ages 5 and 21, and we are also there to offer support to their families when someone close dies. Our work is both supportive and preventative in nature.
Service is usually initiated when a referral is received from the School, GP, Children’s Services, School Nurse, CAMHS and families themselves. There have been occasions when young people have self-referred because they know they need support but their family is not coping.
Our service is available without charge to all children and young people within North East Worcestershire, regularly supporting children who can be hard for other organisations and services to reach.
For many children and young people from such families, bereavement is just one of a number of problems they have to face. Our service is delivered on an outreach basis, enabling accessibility to all, especially disadvantaged families without transport, and those whose grief leaves them poorly placed to keep appointments.
One to One Work
The service provided is largely one to one support, tailored to each child’s individual requirements – but usually consists of;
- an initial assessment at home with the carer/parent to gather background story, evaluate child’s needs and offer immediate advice/support,
- an appropriate support pathway is then agreed, usually based on one to one sessions,
- a brief “tea stop” get together to allow the child or young person to meet their support worker,
- contact is then made with the school arrange date for commencement of support – which is usually then delivered within the school setting,
- a series of one to one sessions – usual every 2 weeks or so, and normally in school – tailored to age and needs of child, with craft, talking, worksheets, stories, etc.
Touchstones also runs group activity days – Touchstones Memory Days – where children and young people meet other bereaved children to;
- help reduce isolation and
- to encourage them to learn at a profound level, that they are not alone and neither is there something wrong with them
These amazing Touchstones Days help the children and young people to discover that they are normal, just like everyone else on the Day, and they develop a network of friends, which can be of immense support to them as they go back to school where others may not have the same understanding or compassion
Touchstones Days are great – everyone gets to share and explore their stories and feelings, have fun on some incredible outdoor activities like climbing, zip-wiring and pedal-carts, take part in memory crafts and realise they are not the only one in this situation.
These days are hugely significant opportunities in normalising grief so that our children and young people can make progress through their pain and resume normal developmental targets
Experienced, trained volunteers staff these days, which feedback indicates are a transforming experience for the young people involved.
We work collaboratively with teachers and other professionals/agencies, attending meetings and providing advice and input, so that bereaved children receive ‘wrap around‘ support.
Please see more details on our Help and Advice pages
To make a referral or get advice, please call Vicki Quarton on 07547 367267 or alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our service is available without charge, to all children, whatever their background
Anyone can make a referral – so if you are looking for help for yourself so someone you care about, please contact us – we really are here to help!