North Wales Freemasons donate £19,000 to fund New Creative therapy for bereaved young people

Monday, 05 August 2019

A North Wales centre for palliative care has been awarded a £19,000 contribution from North Wales Freemasons towards a new pilot project supporting young people experiencing grief following a bereavement

This ground breaking new Dramatherapy project at St Kentigern Hospice in St Asaph, Denbighshire, will allow young people in the local community to express their feelings of grief in a safe environment.

The project has caught the imagination of North Wales Freemasons who have been able to award the grant of £19,000 through the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy. It provides a way of communicating through stories, music, pictures, fairy tales and metaphors. Theorists suggest it could be a useful way of helping children who are going through bereavement deal with their grief.

St Kentigern Hospice is well experienced in the delivery of bereavement support and has a well-established service available for families and children. However, in the catchment area of the hospice there is a paucity in the variety of support offered.

Dinah Hickish, Consultant Nurse at St Kentigern Hospice, commented: ‘The team are exploring new ideas of how to engage with young people effectively and a drama therapy group will provide an environment outside school and home, to work alongside other young people with similar experiences, before during and after loss. We believe giving young people the opportunity to express themselves in a creative way in a safe and therapeutic environment will be invaluable.

The eight-bed in-patient hospice is currently undergoing a £2.5m expansion and redevelopment of their St Asaph site which will update their facilities for future generations, increase capacity by 50% and include a community café. The start of this new project will coincide with the opening of the Hospice and the hospices silver milestone of their 25th anniversary of delivering specialist palliative care.

David Thomas, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, and Phil James, Provincial Grand Charity Steward, were given a guided tour of the redevelopment and congratulated Hospice Counsellor Merith Shorter for coming up with such an innovative way to benefit the bereaved young people of the local community.

David Thomas said: ‘On behalf of North Wales Freemasons, I am delighted to present a cheque for £19,000 to fund this project. Over the past two decades, St Kentigern Hospice has worked incredibly hard to provide and develop a comfortable and loving environment for people requiring acute care and families needing support following a bereavement.

‘I wish the hospice team every success with this project and hope that many young people will benefit from this new service.’

Merith Shorter added: ‘We are incredibly grateful to North Wales Freemasons for their support which will ensure this project will be available to benefit the young community of this North Wales area.’

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