Child and Family Support

Coming to terms with a loved one having a terminal illness and their death can be an overwhelming experience for adults and children alike. Children may be left with many uncertainties, fears and difficult issues to cope with and often find these very hard to talk about, especially to another close family member or friend. Often, not acknowledging children are involved and what is going on is a common way families struggle to cope.

This is where our dedicated child and family support team of counsellors and psychologist can help. We will work with parents and guardians alike, helping you to understand your own fears and prepare you to support the children/young person in your care. We can do this with 1:1 work, couple work and family work either in your own home, at the Beacon Centre in Guildford or at the Hospice in Farnham.

Carl’s story shows his family’s experience of the care from Phyllis Tuckwell, and the continuing support after Emily died.

Family Support

Here at Phyllis Tuckwell, we recognise that for families this can be an incredibly challenging and difficult time. One of the most common questions we are asked is, ‘What do we say to the children?’ For children who have a parent or relative diagnosed with cancer, we have created a ‘What is cancer?’ leaflet, specifically designed for children to help them understand this difficult and complex subject.

Not knowing what to say, or just saying nothing at all in the hopes children can be protected from the pain of loss is all to often a common misconception. Involving children appropriately and not shutting them out is the first big step in helping them understand and prepare for what lays ahead.

Our trained team can also work 1:1 with children and young people either at the Hospice, at the Beacon Centre, at school, or at home, both before and after the death of their loved one. We have a range of skills so we can support your child/young person in the most appropriate way.

Our professionals will, where invited, also work directly with the child/young people’s place of education, offering support, guidance and resources to ensure they are appropriately and sensitively supported and cared for in the school environment.

Little Rays

We have our “Little Rays” Group, which meets every six weeks at the Hospice in Farnham. It is aimed at younger children, aged 5-12 years old after their loved one has died. It is an interactive and fun morning, where the children are supported and guided through a range of activities aimed at helping them express their thoughts and feelings and provide them with ‘coping strategies’ to take away with them. There is no limit to the number of sessions children may attend.


For the Young Person, aged 13-18, we run a separate group every 6 weeks for bereavement. This “Storm” group is aimed at providing them with a supportive environment where they may choose to explore and share with other young people sharing a similar experience. We meet at a variety of local venues where the emphasis is on meeting and having fun whilst taking part in something like bowling, rock climbing, paint balling, trampolining and much more.