Help grieving children and families in Lancaster district get much-needed bereavement support

A Lancaster hospice is looking for support from the public to help get the doors to its new family centre open.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Monday, 21st February 2022, 2:57 pm
Updated Monday, 21st February 2022, 2:58 pm

The Forget Me Not Centre at St John’s Hospice will provide unique whole family bereavement therapy, something that research from Lancaster University found was the most effective type of support, but that was not available or free of charge in the area.

The building, in St John’s Hospice’s grounds on Slyne Road, was generously funded by an anonymous donor.

While the building is nearly complete, St John’s need the help of the community to open the doors to families who need support following the death of a loved one.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Maddy Bass and Rachael Makinson.

The facility will serve families in north Lancashire, South Lakes and part of North Yorkshire, both at the centre near Lancaster, and out in the community, in homes and supporting schools.

Heather Wiseman, advanced nurse practitioner, said: “Children and young people cope better when they are told about their loved one's illness in a way they can understand. They need to know that their loved one is seriously ill, the name of the illness and our best understanding of what may happen.

"Without the right support, the loss of a loved one in childhood can lead to significant bereavement issues for the rest of life. The new centre will allow whole families to receive pre- and post-bereavement support, helping to provide a brighter future for young people and families."

Rachael Makinson, engagement officer of the Forget Me Not Centre, said: “The centre will be a safe place for children, young people and families to help cope with the death of someone they love.

"At present we have no local service that provides therapy support for the whole family together so, the Forget Me Not Centre means we can avoid individual family members going separate ways and at different times to access support.

“This appeal is asking our community for a one-off donation to the Forget Me Not Centre, to help us open the doors to this special place so families can work through their grief together.”

To make a one-off donation visit here or call the St John’s Supporter Care team (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) on 01524 382538.