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Schools project

The Chestnut Tree House Schools Project is a pioneering scheme that invites schoolchildren to learn about hospice care and explore life, death and bereavement. This project is currently on hold because of the pandemic.



Chestnut Tree House has put together a Feelings Activity Book for children aged 9-10 years because we believe it’s more important than ever to be talking to children about loss and transition.

About the Feelings Activity Book

This is a fun activity book which helps children explore their feelings, relationships in the wider world, resilience, loss and transition. It can be completed by individuals, in groups or with the support of parents or teachers.

Children who have completed the Feelings Activity Book said:

  • “The coping and memory making ideas are great, as these are things you can carry on at home.”
  • “The booklet really made me think.”
  • “I loved the ‘Helping Hands’ activity because it was a great way to keep friends and family in mind.”
  • “I loved it all because it was good to express my feelings.”
  • “I liked the fact that you could record your ideas by doodling and drawing – sometimes that is easier when thinking about your feelings.”
  • “My favourite parts were the ideas and strategies, as they will help me to deal with loss and anxiety.”

Feedback from Deputy Head, Tamara Pearson, of Sion Junior School:

“This is absolutely superb! It is pitched exactly right and has the right balance of information and reflection. I am quite sure that many children will find this resource hugely useful.”

Discover more resources for parents and teachers.

About the author

Marcelle PalmerThe activity book has been carefully put together by hospice nurse, Marcelle Palmer, who pioneered one of the first hospice schools’ projects in the country. Over the last four years, schools have visited our adult hospice, St Barnabas House, where pupils are paired with patients who they take part in creative activities with, over the course of three weeks.
Whilst the project isn’t running at the moment due to the pandemic, the activity book is full of similar activities that children can work on independently, in groups, or with the help of a teacher or parent.

Marcelle says:

“I am always amazed to see how easily children can discuss difficult subjects that adults will often find hard, such as death and bereavement. We need to be having these sorts of conversations with children now more than ever, so this is a way of helping with that.”

Marcelle has worked as a nurse for 37 years, is a qualified counsellor and has been part of the hospice movement for 12 years. Marcelle was invited as a guest speaker to the Hay Festival in 2018 to talk about the Schools Project and the importance of talking to children about the death of a loved one.

Thank you!

Thank you to all the schools who have supported the Schools Project over the years. Please let us know how you get on with the Feelings Activity Book: what worked, what we might do differently. We would love to hear from you! We can also arrange for a representative to visit your school to tell you more about hospice care.