13/11/2018 - Permalink

News from our partners: Bereavement bags to help youngsters cope with the loss of a loved one

Related topics: Children's services / Health / Partner organisations

News from our partners Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH)

Bereavement bags to help youngsters cope with the loss of a loved one have been carefully created.

These handmade bereavement bags have been filled with a hand knitted teddy bear, colouring pens and paper – alongside information on dealing with bereavement. There will even be a coloured memory stone inside for the child as a keepsake.

The idea for the bags belongs to Miriam Gilbert, End of Life Specialist Nurse at SaTH, and creating them has been a real family affair.

Miriam Gilbert with bereavement bags for children

Miriam Gilbert with a bereavement bag

Miriam’s mother has handmade the bags, her father has created the teddy bears – and even her own children have given their ideas about what to put inside the bags.

Miriam said:

“The bags can be given to parents for their children so that they can open up conversations about bereavement and grief. They can also be given to a child whilst they are visiting their loved one in hospital to show them that hospitals are places that they are welcome to come in to.

“We have also included pens and notebooks, so they can be used to keep the child entertained during a hospital visit – and also so they can write down their feelings.”

Miriam says the bags will include coloured stones so that youngsters can keep them, write a special name on them and place them in their gardens.

Miriam added:-

“It means that when they go outside, they will see the stone and be able to sit and think about their loved one. We have also included a ‘Thoughtful Bear’ in the bag – so if a young child can’t talk about their grief, they can talk to the bear instead and tell them how they are feeling.”

Jules Lewis, End of Life Care Facilitator at SaTH:

“We are always thinking about how we can help our patients and their families. This is fantastic idea by Miriam, and we think it will really help to make a difference at what is the hardest of times for families, particularly children.”

If anyone would like to help Miriam sew bags, or make teddy bears, she would be delighted to hear from them. They can contact her via email: miriam.gilbert@nhs.net – by or calling 01743 261000 ext 3464.