MSP Emma Roddick visited the Crocus Group child and young person bereavement service, which is part of Highland Hospice, on the afternoon of Wednesday 6th April.
Ms Roddick spent time with Childhood Bereavement Co-ordinator Julia McKillop, Childhood Bereavement Support Worker Louise Mainland and young people who have previously benefited from the service who shared the impact Crocus Group has had on their lives.
Emma Roddick MSP said, “I greatly enjoyed finding out more about the service offered at Crocus Group. Accessing help is so important for children who have experienced bereavement, and are dealing with the feelings and emotions that go with this, and I am so appreciative that this service exists in the Highlands.
Although I have not personally experienced the help on offer, I was referred to Crocus Group by my guidance teacher when I was younger. I often wonder if things would have been different had I accessed this support.”
Julia McKillop said, “We were delighted to welcome Emma to Crocus Group. Crocus can be a fundamental part of helping children with the grieving process; it helps them to understand death, dying and grief within a safe and secure environment where they are the main focus. Most importantly, Crocus helps children understand it is fine to smile again and to enjoy what they love without feeling guilty.'
After operating as a successful independent charity for nearly 20 years, Crocus Group joined the Highland Hospice family of care services in January 2018. With continued support from The Highland Council and the additional resources of the Hospice, staff have been able to grow the service which now regularly supports well over 100 people aged 4 to 18 every year.
Additional group peer support sessions for children and young people are currently being added. These include ‘Day to Remember’ events in Inverness and Alness for a variety of age ranges and a drop-in café on the last Thursday of every month for 12-18 year olds, which begins on 31st March.