STARS offers comprehensive and personalised bereavement and pre-bereavement support to children and young people in Cambridgeshire. Play is the language of children, and our counselling sessions can utilise role play, creative activities, games, books and talk to help each child understand their experience in their own way. Our sessions always take place at times and locations that are neutral but comfortable for the child, such as their school, and are always free of charge.
The children and young people we help can be experiencing a range of mental health and behavioural issues connected to their grief that, left unchecked, can cause significant ongoing problems into adulthood. Poor or erratic behaviour, reduced attainment at school, developmental regression, withdrawal, and negative risk-taking e.g. with substances or crime, are symptoms that may emerge. Especially where surviving family members are themselves struggling with grief, or where a young person cannot rely on the support they need in their home life, it can be crucial to have professional help.
We are at present the only organisation offering this type and level of support in Cambridgeshire, free of charge to those who need it most. We helped over 160 young people last year and demand is growing.