The Young people’s Support Service provides psychological and bereavement support to those under 21 years of age, be they patients, siblings of patients or a relation to an adult Hospice patient. The team is led by Lynsey Christian.
The Young People’s Support Worker carries out 1-1 sessions which can be pre or post bereavement with children and young people and there are currently 45 young people accessing 1-2-1 support.
The pre-bereavement support offered is extremely important and valuable to young people and acts as a preventative service to reduce the chance of severe bereavement reactions, which no other service on the Isle of Man currently offers. There is also joint working with schools and other charities such as CRUSE and Manx Cancer Help to support affected children in the community.
In addition to the 1-2-1 sessions, a Young People’s “Drop in Day” is held in Jade’s Place at Hospice every Thursday between 3.30-6pm. This is open to any young person pre or post bereavement, regardless of circumstances or if they are being seen 1-2-1.
The drop in day is an opportunity to meet other young people who have faced similar situations, gain support from the Young People’s Support Worker and have lots of fun! The drop in day begins with therapeutic work such as working with feelings and emotions, exploring coping mechanisms and ways to keep hold of special memories through talking and creative media.
We always have a break for a drink and biscuit/chocolate which is popular with the young people! After this, the young people jointly decide what they would like to do for the last part of the session. Some activities we have done are music sessions, card/board games, having tournaments on the Wii or Xbox, dance competitions and going outside to have a run about.
We have recently begun work on a project called ‘Remember Me’ for which the craft items have been kindly funded by the Manx Lottery Trust. The idea is that the young person can create something, be it a picture, mosaic or glass art, under the title ‘Remember Me’. The finished art canvases will be displayed around Hospice, whilst other items will be displayed in the Hospice Chapel.
We also have a Facebook page, ‘Youth Support Worker – Your Shout’ which continues to go from strength to strength with just over 1,000 ‘likes’ to date. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Youth-Support-Worker-Your-Shout/700204563394737
The page acts an information hub on any news from the Young People’s Support Service, links to other services or pages which may be of use to young people and their families and an opportunity for young people to share their experiences and ask questions. Pictures from the Young People’s drop in days are also posted on our Facebook page so that people can see some of the great things that happen.
This post has been supported by Manx Lottery Trust with Oskar’s Dreams/Remember Jade kindly continuing to fund this service.