This month marks the fourth anniversary of the Crocus Group child and young person bereavement service becoming part of Highland Hospice.
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 and they now regularly support well over 100 people aged 4 to 18 every year.
When a child or young person loses a family member or close friend, it is likely to be the first time they have experienced the intense emotions that come with a bereavement. They often don’t understand or can’t explain how they feel. Crucially, if their grief is not properly acknowledged, it can have a destructive impact on their future, putting them at higher risk of anxiety, depression, youth offending, antisocial behaviour and poor academic performance.
The Crocus team provides individual and group support, to help bereaved children understand their feelings, acknowledge their bereavement and better come to terms with the death of their loved one.
In the words of Julia McKillop, Childhood Bereavement Co-ordinator at Crocus
'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.'
To mark the fourth anniversary of Crocus joining Highland Hospice and to raise awareness and funds for this hugely valuable service, the Hospice are inviting supporters to help them plant a field of crocuses in the new Torvean Park. The field will flower every spring reminding passers-by and donors of the loss and hurt too many children and young people experience, and how the Crocus service can help them understand their emotions and deal with their grief.
Supporters are asked to sign up to a regular payment of at least £5.00 per month to show their support for bereaved children and young people in the Highlands. In return, the Hospice will plant one square metre of crocus bulbs in their name and send a certificate and Crocus pin badge in recognition of their support.
Andrew Leaver, Head of Fundraising said, ‘Crocus is a hugely valuable service, significantly increasing the life chances for bereaved children and young people. If together we can plant a field of crocuses as a sign of hope and support for bereaved children in the Highlands, then together we will be able to bring smiles back to the faces of those who have lost loved ones. Please support our Crocus Field’