Bereavement can be particularly hard for children to cope with but specialist support for families is available from East Cheshire Hospice.

Its Children and Family Therapy Department accepts referrals and self-referrals, on condition the child fulfils the following criteria -

* Has a GP from East Cheshire CCG

* Aged 4-18

* Has a close family member with a life-limiting illness OR has suffered a bereavement in the last three years.

The service is run part-time by Child and Family Therapists Jane Burton and Lindsay Dobson. Jane said: "We would like to remind people that we're here and can support them as and when appropriate.

"People shouldn't be afraid to pick up the telephone and call us. It doesn't necessarily mean they'd come in as a one-to-one client; there's many different ways we can support them.

"We're here for all families in the East Cheshire community who're struggling due to a bereavement, or a close family member having a life-limiting illness.

"Children of different ages grieve in different ways and we can guide parents, and other adults in their lives, about how best they can support children.

"Family members, parents, grandparents and professionals, such as teachers and medical professionals, can phone us and talk about a child.

"As well as an advice and support service, we provide one-to-one children’s counselling or play therapy, twice-monthly family yoga sessions, and family days and training days throughout the year."

The Department launches a new Adolescent Support Group in the autumn, providing support for secondary school-aged children. Led by qualified counsellors, it will meet twice a month to promote self-compassion and learn how to deal with difficult feelings.

Jane said appointments are necessary for all services and can be made by calling the department. Contact Lindsay Dobson and Jane Burton on 01625 666994.