Always & Forever
with special thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund
About Always & Forever
Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund, we are able to offer our therapeutic groups free to children and young people experiencing bereavement in the North East.These groups provide a unique opportunity for children to heal and grow within a meaningful social environment. They will also provide opportunities to develop friendships based on deep empathy and understanding from peers; thus, children can begin to feel they are not alone in their experience and feelings surrounding their loss.
The aim of these groups is to create a safe, supportive and creative environment, where children can connect and build friendships with peers who "get it". Children will be free to express themselves, their thoughts, feelings, ideas and experiences creatively, without the need for lots of words and explanations.
Who is it for?
These groups are designed for any child aged 4-12 years who has sadly experienced the loss of a loved one.
So that every child gets the most from the groups, they will be allocated based upon age, for example;
Group 1 - children 4 - 6 years.
Group 2 - children 7 - 9 years.
Group 3 - children 10-12 years.
When & Where?
Groups are usually held on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evenings after school hours for 6 consecutive weekly sessions. Each session lasts 60 minutes and will be held at the same time and in the same location each week to ensure continuity. Our groups are currently held within venues in Whitley Bay, Newcastle, Blyth and Morpeth. A group will commence following the referral of 4-8 children from a specific age group.
*please note due to the current coronavirus pandemic these groups have been paused in line with social distancing rules, however please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if your child is struggling there are still lots of ways we can support you and where we are unable to will signpost you to the right place and support you with this process.
How do I request a referral form
Referrals can be made by parents or professionals (with the families consent)
You can contact Holding HeartsTherapeutic Services CIC to request a referral form via the button below.
How do I know the groups are right for my child?
As part of the referral process we will carry out an initial assessment to make sure our groups are the right type of support for your child, if we feel your child would be more suited to individual play therapy or a different type of therapy or support we will discuss this with you.
Is there a cost for the groups?
No, these groups are fully funded thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund meaning there is no cost for your family.
What will my child do in sessions?
Your child will be invited to take part in varied creative activities involving team games, arts and crafts, clay, sand, music & dance, Lego and story telling/writing to name a few, although we have a loose plan we tailor each groups activities to their needs and interests.
Will you discuss with me what my child does?
No, the groups are confidential (unless we have a safety concern). However, children are free to chat to you about the sessions if they wish to, remember the groups are about creating a safe space just for them.
Do I attend the session with my child?
No, children will attend the group with their peers only, along with Jade, Debbie or Laura from the Holding Hearts team, however you are required to stay on site for the duration of the session.
Will my child have to talk about their loss?
Not if they don't want to. Your child can talk about anything they choose, this is always their choice and depends what they feel comfortable with. Activities are carefully planned to allow for free expression of feelings and experiences but each activity will remain completely child-led, children who have experienced the loss of a loved one can often feel they don’t have control over their lives, it is important that within safe boundaries children feel in control of their process during these groups.
There are three therapists, whom do I talk to?
Once a referral has been made you will be assigned a link therapist for the duration of the intervention. This will be the person who makes initial contact and whom will liaise with you when needed. Your link therapist will work closely with your child during sessions to develop a therapeutic relationship.
If you would like more information or are unsure about anything please feel free to contact Holding Hearts, we are happy to answer any questions you have.