Pre-bereavement support

For some families the grieving process starts from the time of diagnosis. In conjunction with the Butterfly Project and other teams we provide practical and emotional support to children (up to the age of 18) and their families/carers or staff who may be experiencing a whole range of feelings associated with loss and grief.


The Butterfly Project for children with life limiting/life threatening conditions

The Butterfly Project offers children, young adults and their families or carers ongoing practical and emotional support from the point of diagnosis, throughout the child's life, through end of life care and ongoing bereavement support.

It is available to individuals and families who live in Nottingham City and the surrounding area of Broxtowe, Gedling, Hucknall and Rushcliffe.

There are four specialist support workers. Alison Rushton is based within the Child Bereavement Team at the Nottingham Children's Hospital. Other specialist support workers Irene Sinclair, Vail Bird and Akhtar Saleem are based at Barnardo's Sherwood.


Coffee mornings

Coffee mornings are run for parents who have a child diagnosed with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. This allows them the opportunity to meet and chat to other parents in a safe, relaxed and welcoming environment over cake and coffee.

These are held on the first Wednesday of each month from 11am at Barnardo's Sherwood Project. Please note - this may be subject to change.

Please contact Alison Rushton for more information or Barnardo's on 0115 969 1177.


Sibling activity days

The Butterfly Project provides a variety of age appropriate sibling activity days each year. These events enable children to explore and express feelings and meet other children that they can talk to and share their experiences with.


Family activity days

The Butterfly Project organises a variety of inclusive family activities, enabling children with life limiting/threatening conditions and their families to have fun, and try out new experiences. Activities include:

  • wall climbing
  • pond dipping
  • boating
  • ice skating


Choices around end of life care

It is recognised that end of life care can be a difficult topic for parents and professionals to discuss. Building relationships with families is an important step in helping parents feel comfortable and supported.

It is important that all families are given the opportunity to talk about it if they wish while at the same time recognising that some families may not wish to, or may not be ready to discuss all or any of these issues. Some families, however, welcome the opportunity to talk and plan the events around their child's death beforehand.

The team are available to sensitively discuss issues such as preferred place of death, funeral arrangements, cultural and religious needs, post mortem examination, and support for siblings and memory making.

Families may choose to take their child home to die or to access services provided at a local hospice. We can provide help and support with these decisions.

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