Slide Away

Charity details

Registered address
2 The Clocktower,Brushford
TA22 9AF

07970 597715

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Slide Away provides support for children and young people in West Kent, who have been bereaved of a relative or friend. Bereaved children and young people have told us that, following the death of someone important to them, they sometimes feel anger, grief, numbness, relief, fear, confusion, despair, shock, denial, sadness, anxiety, depression, guilt. Slide Away offers two-day therapeutic workshops, which enable children to explore and express their emotions, to find ways of coping with their grief and to help them start the process of moving on through creative activities.

A typical workshop will start with the children getting to know each other and telling their own story, if they are able, through whatever medium they feel comfortable, be it words, pictures or models. They write down their emotions on paper, which they use to build a feelings volcano. They are encouraged to talk about their fears and worries and to make a model of something of which they are frightened, usually a spider, to help them face those fears. The children decorate a photo frame and memory box, in which to keep any treasured items. On the second day, the group will discuss the things that help them get through a particularly bad day, typical examples of which are talking to friends, listening to music, playing on the computer, and they can then make their own “first aid kit” containing the things that they find particularly supportive. The final activity gives the children the opportunity to write a final message to their special person, which is then attached to a helium balloon and released.

Prior to the children’s workshop, parents/carers are invited to a one day workshop to sample the activities in which their child will participate. This day aims to help adults understand their child’s grief and to encourage communication within the family.

Following on from the workshop, Slide Away also holds further therapeutic days, where the children and young people can meet up again with the friends they made at their workshop. These take the form of music therapy, creative writing, art therapy, drama or outdoor pursuits. We also host two annual family events – our Advent Candle day, which helps families to prepare for Christmas and remember their special person at a difficult time, and a kite flying day, at which the children build, decorate and fly their kites in memory of the person who has died.  

Slide Away also hold monthly workshops for children who are dealing with a terminal illness within the family, offering support and ways of coping. 

Slide Away take all referrals through schools and we maintain a network of volunteer School Bereavement Contacts in the Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling areas, all of whom are given awareness training to give them the confidence to support a bereaved pupil and make contact with their family. School can feel like a safe haven and a place of continuity for a bereaved child, especially if their home circumstances have become difficult or changed dramatically, and it is important that there is a member of staff, who is aware of their situation, to whom they can talk.

Our vision is for all children in Kent to have access to a bereavement support service, which acknowledges their grief and experience of loss following the death of a close relative or friend.

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