We are teaming up with the adult only St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield to provide a new support service for young people coping with long term family illness and bereavement.

‘Time 4 You’ sees both charities joining forces to provide pre and post bereavement support through a range of activities.

Leading the project for St Luke’s is Sarah Bowers, the head of the hospice’s Allied Health Professionals department.

“We are going to be working with the Brathay Trust offering a 12 week programme for young people both pre and post bereavement,” Sarah explained.

“The aim is to give these young people a voice, allow them to share their experiences with other young people in similar circumstances, providing decompression time and an outlet with people who understand and care.

“It will be a fun, interactive programme which will be delivered by the Brathay team at the hospice and aimed at young people, specifically those aged 12 to 16, who are being supported by St Luke’s.

It will be about giving them time to be themselves, providing support, space and coping strategies and enabling them to understand that, whatever they have been through, they do have their whole lives ahead of them.

The Saturday morning sessions will be open to a maximum of 15 young people at the pilot stage and the project is expected to launch in June.

“The referrals will come through the St Luke’s Community Nursing team, from our In Patient team or via our Therapies and Rehabilitation Centre, all of whom have a special insight into how illness affects the whole family,” said Sarah.

“Any family where our teams identify that there is a young person struggling to cope will be suitable for referral.

“At St Luke’s we care for the family holistically, offering support for partners, carers and other grownups but we did identify this gap which we believe working with Brathay will help us to close.”

The project has been made possible by funding from Sheffield’s Master Cutler’s Challenge.