Strathcarron Hospice provides support to children and young people aged 6 to 18 who have experienced the loss of someone significant in their life due to bereavement. This support is provided using the Seasons for Growth programme in age specific groups of  up to seven children. We aim to run up to eight groups per year, with two groups per week every Tuesday and Thursday evening after school for a total of 8 weeks during term time, and each session lasts roughly an hour. The groups are led by a trained adult companion and an adult volunteer, and the aim of the programme is to help normalise the circumstances and feelings the young people are experiencing, and to find ways to help manage these feelings. Last year Strathcarron provided support to 37 children through Seasons for Growth, with additional support being provided both in the ward and in the community to children and families by our our Patient and Family Support Team. There is also a one off parents group for children attending Seasons, which helps parents to understand how best to support their children.

The programme is funded for Strathcarron by BBC Children in Need, and one local family recently appeared on the BBC Countryfile programme, talking about their experience and and taking part in the Countryfile Ramble in the Galloway Forest. 

Lynne Black’s husband Steven died unexpectedly in January 2017 with a bleed on the brain and sepsis, and Lynne approached the Hospice for support a few months later as the family struggled to cope with their grief. All three children -  Karis, Logan and Lewis - have since attended our Seasons for Growth groups,and Lynne has also completed our Adult Seasons Group and Parent Programme. Lynne has been very positive about the support that she has received and what they have all gained from this experience. This whole process has been a roller coaster of emotion for the family, but it has also been cathartic in many ways and has brought them all much closer as a family. 

Seasons for Growth is a very special  element of the support provided to our patients and their families, and we are very grateful to BBC Children in Need for funding this service.