Counselling and support groups

At Shooting Star Children’s Hospices we have a team of experienced and fully qualified counsellors and therapists who provide an extensive range of counselling and support groups for the whole family.

Support groups

Siblings often feel alone and isolated and some experience bullying because their family is seen as different. That’s why we support 1,000 brothers and sisters with dedicated sibling groups. These groups contain fun activities and opportunities to explore and share their feelings in a safe environment. We run groups for siblings of life-limited children and bereaved siblings of all ages.

Other groups we run include grandparents’ days, family workshops on how to help siblings and for those new to the service, pamper days and bereaved men’s groups.


Our team of experienced and fully qualified counsellors, some of whom practise in a voluntary capacity, offer support to the whole family if required. Counselling offers the time and space to discuss concerns and consider issues that may prevent you from getting on with your day to day life. Counsellors do not make judgements or provide answers, but offer support to help you find your own way forward.

What happens in counselling?

Before counselling starts, an appointment will be arranged to meet with one of the counsellors for an initial assessment session. This gives both parties the opportunity to discuss how needs can best be met. If it is agreed that counselling will be beneficial, further sessions will be arranged. However, if counselling is not suitable at that time, together it will be decided what other options will be of most use.

In a safe environment, individuals are encouraged to explore what is happening in their lives. Pressure is never placed upon anyone to talk about concerns that they wish to keep private. The emphasis is upon supporting each individual to work at their own pace and discuss issues that are important to them.

Why do families come for counselling at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices?

People attend counselling for many different reasons. Sometimes, when families first come to Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, they may be struggling to come to terms with a child’s diagnosis and counselling can help with the process of adjusting to that news. It can also help with the stress of living with a child who maybe unwell, along with dealing with the effect upon other children, extended family members, significant relationships and trying to balance work related issues. Families are also seen in their bereavement for counselling.

“We had counselling in the early stages to help us come to terms with our son’s condition and help us understand each other’s thoughts, feelings, concerns and worries, making us a more united and strong mummy and daddy. We value every single bit of support that we receive.”

If you would like to find out more, or would like information on being referred for counselling, please contact our Family Support Line by either phoning 01483 230 974 or emailing 9am-4pm Monday to Friday.