Project information

Christmas Challenge: Coping with Christmas Project

This project is to fund bereavement support sessions for children and adults living in the Chilterns area of Herts and Bucks over Christmas. It would fund visits from our bereavement support staff and volunteers for two months (Dec-Jan) helping families to cope with the loss of their loved ones.

December 2016 - January 2017

Charity information: Rennie Grove Hospice Care

Rennie Grove Hospice Care logo
  • Need


    Our nurses provide specialist care to patients diagnosed with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses either in their own homes or at our day hospice. Life-limiting illness affects the whole family and so additional support from our Family Support Services (FSS) is often needed. The Christmas period is a time when many families come together and so it can be a particularly difficult time of year for children who have recently lost a family member to illness.


    Our FSS team helps families prepare for the loss of a loved one to help them cope with the pain of losing someone close to them when the time comes. They provide one-to-one support sessions to children, young people and adults either at home, at school or over the phone. They also offer advice to parents, schools and carers about how best to help a child cope. Anyone we’ve previously supported can come back for further help at any time – and they frequently do.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Fund face-to-face family support sessions over the Christmas period (approx. 232 sessions).


    » Provide one-to-one support sessions to children and families at their homes with a trained member of our FSS Team giving them the opportunity to talk.
    » Provide one-to-one support sessions to children and their families at our Day Hospice.
    » Provide advice and support to parents and teachers helping them manage children and young people’s needs whilst facing and dealing with bereavement.

    What success will look like

    Our quality assurance team sends patient/carer surveys regularly - last year over 98% of patients and carers were satisfied or very satisfied with our service.

  • Impact


    It is especially crucial that children receive the support they need during a loved one’s illness and immediately after bereavement. As research shows the better this support is at the time, the less likely children are to have problems later on in life. A demonstration of the effectiveness of our FSS is shown by the fact that many of the children and family members that we support often return for further support sometimes months/years on from their bereavement.


    There is a risk that there may be a higher demand for our services than we are able to cope with due to the rapid increase in demand for our services across the board. We deal with this risk by prioritising patients with the greatest need and by making plans to further expand the FSS team.


    Donors to this project will receive email updates and we will also communicate the progress of our project via our website and newsletter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £11,550

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,775 one-to-one FSS sessions 116 FSS sessions in Dec 16
      £5,775 one-to-one FSS sessions 116 FSS sessions in Jan 17
  • Background


    Our FSS team provides support to families in their own homes across the Chilterns area or Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Our day hospice is located in St Albans, Hertfordshire.


    Our FSS team supports the families of our patients with life-limiting illnesses including, children, young people and adults. Their relationship with our patients can be anything from spouse or partner, to son or daughter, grandchild, carer or sibling. We will also offer support to non-family members if there are close friends or companions who need our help through bereavement.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Rennie Grove Hospice Care provides a model of palliative that is recognised and respected across the country. We have been providing specialist nursing care on a 24 hour on-call basis for nearly 31 years across the Chilterns. Our Director of Nursing and Clinical Services, Sue Varvel is also the Chair of the National Association for Hospice at Home helping us to lead the way in providing excellent hospice care.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Cathy Sosli

    Cathy is our Family Support Services Lead who, along with her team, is dedicated to providing an excellent support service tailored to the individual


Could fund a half hour session with a Family Support Counsellor for a bereaved child or adult.

My Grandma found it so hard losing her daughter, but she received such wonderful support before and after Mum died that she was able to pull through. I really don’t know what we would have done without Rennie Grove – as an adult I still remember all they did for us.

Rachel, daughter of former patient