What our support looks like | Highland Hospice

What our support looks like

Our support mostly takes the form of creative, hands-on activities where children can express their innermost thoughts freely and begin to make sense of what has happened and to build confidence and resilience for the future.

Once an initial family assessment visit has taken place we can suggest any appropriate next steps. This may take the for of 1-2-1, groupwork or peer support. Sessions primarily take place in our base at the Highland Hospice in Inverness, however we do take a blended approach to working in a venue that works for your child so regardless of your location in the Highlands you get the support.

Several months are usually needed for children and young people to be able to accept the reality of the death and adjust to 'a new normal'. Only after this time has passed is it usually possible to identify whether there are concerns about how a child or young person is managing their grief. One of the most important things is ensuring that support is given within the family and wider support network of school and community. We aim to help parents, carers and other supportive adults in the child's life to feel confident and equipped in helping their child manage their grief. This can involve visits to our office, conversations over the phone and provision of appropriate books and resources. (insert bereavement charter)

Bereavement support needs may change as a child matures and develops. In the event of further concerns in the future, a child or young person can always be re-referred to Crocus up until their 18th birthday. You are welcome to get in touch by phone or email if you are unsure whether a re-referral is necessary.

We provide consultancy and advice to schools and other groups in the Highland area and offer bespoke training.

Making contact

Crocus Highland works on a referral system. We accept referrals from anyone, but ask that the child and parents/carers are aware of the referral. If you have any queries about making a referral, please contact us via email or phone us on 01463 714568. Referrals can be made online. If that isn't possible please phone or email.

Prior to attending any Crocus sessions, the child / young person must be told that the person has died, and have an appropriate understanding of how they died. Dependant on the nature of the death this conversation can be difficult. It is important for the child/young person to have a true and accurate record of the cause of death. If you are experiencing difficulties in having this conversation please do get in touch and we can look at how we can support you.

5-8 year olds

The main provision for this age group is a Day to Remember. This is an opportunity for children to get together to share experiences and talk about the person who has died. They are held throughout the year and involve a programme of activities suited to the age and circumstances of each child.

We aim to:

  • Provide the child with an opportunity to meet other bereaved children
  • Give the child the opportunity to accept the reality of death
  • Educate about the grief process
  • Acknowledge the different feelings which children may experience
  • Facilitate the child’s understanding about what has happened

For this age group of bereaved children, one of the most important things is ensuring that support is given within the family and wider support network of school and community. We aim to help parents, carers and other supportive adults in the child's life to feel confident and equipped in helping their child manage their grief. This can involve visits to our office, conversations over the phone and provision of appropriate books and resources.

9-12 year olds

We may offer:

  • A Day to Remember - a special remembrance day in which small groups of children share their experiences and make memories of the person who died (as above)
  • A 6- to 8-week group programme, after which children are encouraged to use the 'toolkit' of resources they've built up for themselves to manage their grief. Parents and carers are welcome to use the kitchen space for tea, coffee and conversation whilst these sessions are running.
  • A block of one-to-one bereavement support sessions may be offered if assessed to be appropriate and needed. However, the majority of bereaved children benefit most from participating in a group context.

13 years +

Our teen's group uses a youth work approach to empower young people to take the lead in managing their loss in healthy ways. The young people are encouraged to set the agenda and build supportive peer relationships. They can decide how much of their own personal experience they share with the group and when. A recent group have developed a bereavement education resource to share with teachers and other support staff, aiding them to learn how to respond helpfully to a bereaved young person. We are excited to be able to offer this resource to staff teams in Highland. Watch our short 'Grief Brief' video below.

A block of one-to-one bereavement support sessions may be offered if assessed to be appropriate and needed. However, the majority of young people benefit most from participating in a group context. We seek to provide informal opportunities for young people to connect with others their age who have been bereaved.

After bereavement support

Once a child or young person has completed their time with Crocus, it is worth keeping up with our website and Facebook page for information on any community or open events that we may be running throughout the year.

'My daughter is happier and more positive about life; she is able to plan for her future as an adult and can see there is potential for happiness'