A local hospice is expanding a pilot project to support young people as they transition into adult care through peer networks and specialist advice.
‘Young Adult Saturday Socials’ by Little Havens, the children’s hospice for Essex, is designed for young people to meet others in similar positions who have a complex or incurable condition. There is an educational element for families too, guiding them through topics which they’re likely to face as their son or daughter gets older and needs to move into adult services.
Four meetings took place throughout 2022 covering topics such as legal issues from Kew Lew LLP, health access from Beacon, and advice from the charity’s Wellbeing Team for the young person and their carers. The sessions also provided social opportunities, skills-building and interactive workshops.
Lauren Summers is the Transition Lead at Havens Hospices. She said, “Everyone’s transition is unique. As young people get older, they have typical milestones and you know what to expect but in healthcare for those with complex needs many don’t know what is going to happen. The scariest thing for families is feeling like they don’t know something or are missing out on a vital service.
“Those who have attended our Young Adult Saturday Socials have reported feeling empowered, educated, less fearful and more prepared. They have also enjoyed spending time with others facing similar challenges. We are looking forward to continuing the project in 2023.”
Joey Cann is from Maldon, and has been visiting Little Havens since 2017. The 16 year old has complex conditions which means he needs round-the-clock care. His mum, Denise, says, “There’s something for both of us at Saturday Socials. They are a great addition to Little Havens’ services because they are aimed specifically at our young people.
“Joey loves the social side, especially having the chance to sit around the table with everyone. It’s given me the opportunity to meet parents of other young adults and share experiences and future worries. Talking to others who understand makes such a difference, it feels reassuring to know I’m not alone. Joey and I are both looking forward to more workshops next year.”
The ‘Saturday Social’ workshops are currently only available to young people already under the care of Little Havens. To find out more about Little Havens or how to make a referral, please visit our referrals page or follow the charity on social media @HavensHospices