Kent child bereavement services boosted by charity partnership

Demelza’s Family Support team has collaborated with a local charity to set up a £20,000 project with the aim of supporting bereaved children.

Demelza has brought Rochester-based Holding On Letting Go (HOLG) on-board to work with families across Kent and provide training for Demelza staff in Kent, South East London and East Sussex.

The 12 month partnership will offer:

  • Bereavement training for Demelza’s staff and volunteers
  • One-to-one bereavement care for Demelza’s families, offered alongside all of their other services
  • Bereaved children and parent support programme
  • The development of online and face-to-face parent/carer support groups.
  • Resource packs full of useful bereavement information
  • Creative memory-making packs for families to create and add to memory boxes – a huge part of bereavement care

The collaboration will be led at HOLG by Debbie McSwiney, who until three years ago worked at Demelza and had been a trustee of HOLG for many years alongside her role.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to helping Demelza to support their bereaved families because I have seen what a difference the right help makes.”
“It’s an amazing opportunity for us to pool our skills and resources to help build resilience within those families requiring our specialist help and support.”

Jo Burton, Demelza’s Therapeutic and Bereavement Lead, said: “This collaboration with HOLG could not have come at a better time.

“HOLG’s vast and specialist knowledge will help to implement the new Demelza Bereavement Model, to support our current bereavement offering to families and also to increase the skills and knowledge of our volunteer Bereavement Team.