Chestnut Tree House gardens

Our care

Facing bereavement

We’re so sorry you’re facing the bereavement of your child. We’ll do all we can to help you for as long as you need.

How we can support you

Being there for the whole family throughout your journey is a vital part of what we do, and our team are specialists in coordinating end-of-life care for babies, children, and young people – whether at home, in hospital or at the hospice.

At this difficult time, we work alongside you to offer guidance and support, and we’re often involved in complex decision making and symptom management to make sure your child is as comfortable as possible.

Stars bereavement suite

Following the death of a child or young person we have a bereavement suite called ‘Stars’ that you are welcome to use. This suite provides complete privacy for your family and includes a special bedroom for your child to lay at rest until the funeral in a supportive environment.

At the House, we acknowledge when a child or young person has died by placing stars at the entrance and on the door of the Stars suite. Stars suite can be used by any family following the death of their child, the child doesn’t need to have been cared for by us.

Any family can use Stars – their baby, child, or young person does not need to have been cared for by the hospice prior to their death.

How Stars helps families

ITV Meridian visited Chestnut Tree House to speak to our Director of Children’s Services, Anna Jones, about Stars; and to Kate and Sam, who kindly shared Rupert’s story and explained how Stars helped them say goodbye.

Ongoing bereavement care for your family

The death of a child is a hugely challenging and distressing time, and we do all we can to support families through their grief in the days, months, and years to follow. We have a highly skilled therapy team who can offer counselling and emotional support for all members of your family. Our dedicated pastoral team are also here to help you, no matter your faith. As well as bereavement support for adults and children, we also offer practical support in preparing for the funeral, conducting the funeral, and returning home.

We want to support you for as long as you need us, which is why all bereaved families are invited to remembrance events each year. These events provide an opportunity to remember and celebrate the lives of those children who have died. Many families choose to come back on the anniversary of a child’s death, on on other special days – like birthdays-  to feel close to the child they’ve lost and celebrate their lives. We also have a special book of dedication and a beautiful Meadow Garden where families can visit and lay an engraved pebble in memory of their child.

You’re not alone

We support lots of families who are dealing with the death of a child, some of these families have bravely shared their stories and their experiences of Chestnut Tree House and of their grief. Gemma, who’s son Finlay died as a baby has shared their experience:

“At the time I was scared, I was expecting it to be like another hospital. But it wasn’t like that at all. It was bright and colourful, and there were lots of lovely smiley faces. They looked after us there for two weeks, they supported us and they helped us plan Finlay’s funeral. But most importantly they made sure that we had time with Finlay.” Find out more about Finlay’s story here.