Who is the service for?  

St Joseph’s Hospice offers specialist support to children, young people and families who have lost a family member, care giver or other significant person. This is available free of charge to children and young people up to the age of 18 who either live in City & Hackney or who are registered with a City & Hackney GP.


The death of someone close to us can be deeply painful. The suddenness of the illness – often with the loss of contact with a loved one with no opportunity to say goodbye – can leave us with many painful emotions: sadness, anger, grief or numbness. Such responses, although normal, can be the source of much distress and confusion. Referral and initial consultation

If you, or a child or young person you are aware of, could benefit from a chance to talk to someone about a bereavement please contact our First Contact Team. They will take some initial information about who is being referred and the death that has occurred.

A member of the team will then get in touch with you for a more detailed discussion about your situation, what support you have around you and what you are finding difficult.

We may offer advice and information about managing the impact of bereavement or signposting to other relevant organisations that can also offer help and support. Sometimes this initial meeting is all that is needed but, if not, we will discuss other ways we can help you.

Support is offered in-person, by phone or video call according to what is most appropriate for the child. Access to interpreters is available online or by telephone.

Support following the initial consultation

This may include any of the following:

  • Individual counselling and support
  • Family consultation and support
  • Art Therapy
  • Bereavement groups and memorial event
  • The Elephant Kit: a therapeutic toolkit provided free of charge to families with children and teens. It is designed to support children’s mental health and help families communicate during the difficult time


If you would like to find out more or discuss a referral, please contact the Patient & Family Counselling Team on 020 8525 3229 or


The Elephant Kit

What is the Elephant Kit?

The Elephant Kit is a therapeutic toolkit provided free of charge to families with children, related to anyone who is being cared for by St Joseph’s Hospice.

 When can it be helpful?

Coming to terms with life limiting illness can be difficult for everyone. It can be especially hard for children to make sense of and talk about what is happening. The Elephant Kit contains creative tools, toys and games, carefully designed to welcome children to the hospice environment, support their emotional health and help families communicate during this difficult time. This could be at any stage of the illness or after the loss of a loved one.

For more information and to request a kit please speak to a member of staff, email Ross or call 0300 30 30 400.


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