The Laura Centre is a professional bereavement service that believes in providing a safe, friendly and inclusive environment. We have a mixture of qualified counsellors and trained visiting counsellors. We follow the Code of Ethics of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and follow all their guidance on therapeutic practise. Individual counsellors are either members or accredited with the BACP or the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy (UKCP).
Although we live in a protected society in the sense that childhood death is no longer a common occurrence, the fact still remains that some children do die.
The lives of the families left behind have been shattered…never to be quite the same again…”why has this happened to us; why didn’t I die instead of him; I’m so frightened, life has no meaning anymore; I feel so alone-nobody understands; I feel as though I am going mad; what would they be doing now; I just ache to hold her in my arms“.
Children grieve too. Bereaved children and young people can experience an array of feelings, which can impact on their general emotional and mental health wellbeing.
The Laura Centre is now the sole project of the charity COPE. Gail and Harry Moore founded COPE in 1988. COPE’s initial work focused on providing a range of services for children with cancer and their families. This work led directly to the creation of the COPE children’s oncology unit (ward 27) at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, as well as the creation and funding of two children’s community Macmillan nurses and contributing to haematological research. The work initiated by COPE contributed to a significant shift in awareness of families’ needs and most of these services are now funded by the NHS. Gail and Harry went on to start a separate charity that created Rainbows children’s hospice.
Following the sad death of their daughter Laura from Leukaemia, Gail and Harry became acutely aware of the lack of support for families bereaved of a child.
This led to them opening The Laura Centre in October 1991 to provide therapeutic support to anyone bereaved of a child or young person. In 1994 our service was extended to include support for children bereaved of a parent or carer.
The Laura Centre saw 80 people in the first year it opened and has steadily grown since. We currently support more than 400 people every year.
In 2005 we expanded into no. 6 Tower Street. In September 2006 two building nos. 4 and 6 Tower Street were joined together so that we could have one reception and waiting room. This has made the Centre more accessible with the creation of a downstairs counselling room and disabled access toilet. In addition we were able to move our Quiet Room to the ground floor to make it more accessible.
Our aim is to be friendly and easily accessible as well as professional. A death in the family of a child or parent, is a devastating and traumatic loss. The support we offer recognises the lifelong impact of such a loss and that there are no easy answers. Working together we hope to be able to help each individual find their own way to cope.
We are committed to:
- offering our services in a family orientated, approachable and welcoming environment
- providing free open ended therapeutic support to our users
- respecting the uniqueness of the experience of bereavement for each individual
- understanding the spiritual, cultural and emotional aspects of bereavement
- continually developing our services in order to respond to the needs of our users
- providing a service of the highest professional standard working within the guidelines of the professional therapeutic bodies -the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Our vision statement is:
“a culture of compassion for all bereaved families”