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Grandparents gather for tea, therapeutic crafts and sharing stories in recent support sessions

October 25, 2022

We aim to support all members of the family however we can, so we invited bereaved grandparents to our Shooting Star House for a special Afternoon Tea. This was an opportunity to meet other Grandparents and share their thoughts and feelings about their grief. We also held a virtual creative zoom session for grandparents of children currently supported by us, so that they could join in with some therapeutic sessions in the comfort of their own home.

Upon arrival at Shooting Star House, the bereaved grandparents were met with teas, coffees and other refreshments as well as some of our lovely family support workers and therapists who helped the grandparents get settled in.

As the day progressed, the table that was covered in a plethora of crafting material was used to create a colourful collage of things that reminded the grandparents of their grandchildren. From various colours, magazines, sparkles and pictures, they dove straight into their creative side and started creating beautiful collages of their grandchildren. The Memory Collages were a therapeutic process which allowed them to create a forever reminder of precious memories of their grandchild. They were also able to explore their feelings surrounding grief and how they were coping with their experiences, whilst being in a safe space with a relatable group of people. This activity naturally encouraged the grandparents to share some of their lovely memories with the group and reach out to the therapists and counsellors for further support.

Some grandparents, who were initially apprehensive about making the collage said, “I really got into it, and I certainly will do it again.” Another shared, “It bought back good memories”, and another added, “Hearing of other people’s loss, helps to know you are not alone in your grief.”

There are not many ways to meet people who have experienced the same thing, but these therapeutic sessions allow different families to come together to commemorate their grandchild and listen to other people’s stories. This safe space means families can share and learn from others as well as utilise the support and expertise of our Family Support team.

The other session, a virtual creative one, was available to grandparents of the children currently using the service, and we welcomed them to learn a new skill and meet grandparents alike. With the session held online, it meant it was super easy to log in and get involved from the comfort of their home.

The week before the session, all the grandparents who’d signed up, received a little parcel of everything they would need to learn how to make sugar roses to adorn their home bakes. A fancy Tea Pig tea bag and a “Friendlie” biscuit was also included in the parcel, so that they could enjoy a virtual cuppa and catch up after the class. Everyone surprised themselves with their edible roses and continued to make more for the duration of the zoom call. Caroline Brent-Field, Events Officer at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, added “It was such a special event and was so lovely to have so many Grandparents there!”

The mental and physical demands of having a baby, child or young person with a life-limiting condition in the family is extremely tough, affecting all members of the family in different ways. We are dedicated to offering a comprehensive range of therapies and specialist clinics for the whole family. Find out more about the different services we offer for both supported and bereaved families on our Support Hub and Bereavement Support Hub.