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Havering hospice thanks Children in Need for funding to support youth

Sophia, picture here with her mum, received support from Saint Francis Hospice when her nan died (Pictures -Saint Francis Hospice) 

A hospice in Havering has thanked BBC’s Children in Need for the funding which supports young people come to terms with grief.

St Francis Hospice receives funding from the telethon, which is on BBC1 tonight at 19:00, part of which is to support children who have suffered bereavement or who are facing the loss of someone. 

The funding covers all aspects of the service from the salaries of its two child and family therapists, Stella Christou and Emily Gray, to materials, supervision and resources such as art materials.

Shahina Haque, the Hospice’s Family Support Services Manager, said, “We are ever so grateful for the continued support BBC’s Children in Need has given to the vulnerable children and their families”

“Without the funding, we would not be able to provide this service which would mean many children would be isolated and suffering with their loss and mental health, and this could have a long term effect on their understanding of death and dying and development overall.”

This year, the telethon coincides with the Children’s Grief Awareness Week. 

Sophia is a young person who has benefitted from the hospice’s support following a loss.

St Francis Hospice helped her come to terms with the death of her nan through the help of art therapy as a way to help process her emotions.

“Emily has helped me a lot,” said Sophia, “Nan loved to paint and when I did art therapy it made me think of my Nan but in a happy way.

“I made a memory box and it means a lot to me because it has photos of my Nan on it.

“It’s also very bright and she loved bright colours and rainbows and it has photos of members of the family who she was close to and pictures of us together.”

Awais Malik, 19, his sister Sabaa, 14 and their younger brother Anees also received counselling support from Stella following the death of their father Habib in March 2019.

Family photo of the Malik family who were supported after their father died (Pic- SFH)

“Grief can lead to a mental health illness and I wanted to talk about it because this is something I’ve personally experienced,” said Sabaa, “a few years ago, I lost someone who was very close to me, my father.

“I was told beforehand that he would only have a few months to live, however, I didn’t fully process this until he was actually no longer with me.

“During this period, I received professional support from Saint Francis Hospice and it helped me to deal with my mental health.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM


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