Local MSP visits The Haven

The Haven, a registered charity which provides support to people affected by a range of life limiting illness and to their family members and carers and supports people across the whole of North and South Lanarkshire through its centres in Blantyre, Wishaw and Forth was delighted to welcome James Kelly MSP to their Blantyre centre to hear more about the Children, Young People and Families Service.  

The visit followed the recent announcement that The Haven had been awarded funding from The National Lottery Community Fund Young Start Fund. Mr Kelly MSP, a long-time supporter of The Haven, kindly wrote to the charity to congratulate them on this funding as well as lodging a motion in Parliament. Mr Kelly MSP was keen to find out more about what support the funding will allow The Haven to provide within the local community so met with The Haven’s Children, Young People and Families Service Co-ordinators Caroline Litster and Becky Rawlinson.

Caroline Litster, Children, Young People and Families Co-ordinator at The Haven in Blantyre said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded funding from the Young Start Fund and were delighted to meet with James Kelly MSP to tell him more about how this funding will really help children and young people in our local community. This funding will enable us to sustain and develop our current Children, Young People and Families Service to ensure as many families as possible in our local community who need this support are able to access our service. 

“The Haven’s Children, Young People and Families Service helps to support children and young people to feel resilient and strong, enabling them to understand their own emotions and to be confident enough to share the natural feelings of loss when someone they care about is seriously ill or has died. The children and young people The Haven supports have a family member who is affected by a life limiting illness such as cancer or multiple sclerosis; or are affected by bereavement.  All the children and young people are therefore experiencing loss and grief. 

“As well as supporting children and young people through bereavement, grief and loss, the Young Start funded project will also enable us to offer a structured young volunteer peer support programme. This will deliver and support activities giving young people in the local community the opportunity to gain valuable experience and get involved in the community doing something rewarding and fun as well as helping them on their chosen career path by providing them with invaluable experience.” 

James Kelly MSP said: “The important work done by the Haven Centre in Blantyre is an invaluable service to people in the local area who have been impacted by bereavement or life-limiting illness. The Centre bridges the gap between lengthy waiting lists for therapies within the Health Service, providing immediate and holistic support to people of all ages. 

“Through my time as an MSP, I have worked closely with The Haven and remain very impressed with the service which they provide for young people. Offering both group activities and one-to-one therapies, The Haven provides a safe space for children to process what can often be seen as a more adult trauma for as long or as little a time period as is necessary. The Haven has been an integral part of Blantyre and the wider region since 2002 and it is a service which should be supported and protected.” 

For more information on the Children, Young People and Families Service or any of the support and services available at The Haven please phone 01698 727884.  

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