St Wilfrid’s Hospice has launched The Seahorse Project, a new bereavement support service for children aged six to 17.
Support will be available to children bereaved in any circumstance – including road traffic collisions, murder and suicide – across the hospice’s catchment area, which extends from Eastbourne to Seaford up to Uckfield and Heathfield.
The project started with a pilot last year, where two workbooks designed to help children understand and work through their feelings of grief were produced.
Following the success of the pilot the hospice applied for further funding from Children in Need to continue and expand the project, which has included recruiting two trained counsellors who specialise in childhood bereavement.
The launch of The Seahorse Project was celebrated with an event at the hospice which was attended by more than 40 people.
Project lead Ella Williams spoke about how more support for bereaved children and young people is desperately needed and the scope of the project moving forward.
Attendees were also treated to a reading from local children’s author, Giles Paley-Phillips, whose work includes The Fearsome Beastie, which won The People’s Book Prize 2012, Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award 2013 and the Bizziebaby Gold Award.
Giles read from his latest work One Hundred and Fifty-two Days, which tells the story of a teenager whose mother is terminally ill through a blend of free verse and semi-autobiography.
The evening ended with a thought-provoking question and answer session with the hospice’s counselling staff and Giles.
If you would like to find out more about The Seahorse Project and the resources available for children and young people please visit www.stwhospice.org/the-seahorse-project.