What the kit contains
Pip’s Kit comes packaged in a printed tote bag with stickers and postcards.
Inside you will find:
Pip & Mini Pip
A toy for the child to cuddle and confide in. A smaller version to be given to the sick parent to promote a connection between the parent and child.
A letter to express sadness as well as acknowledging what the child may be going through.
Guide: About Pip’s Kit
A short guide for the child.
Guide: How to Look After Pip
Tells the child that Pip likes to be cuddled and shouted out, giving permission to the child that it is OK to feel strong emotions.
Guide: Grown Ups Book
Information, support, and advice for adults. Suggestions on ways to support children and how to start talking to them as well as how children might feel and behave.
Different questions or statements children might ask, think or feel with a list of relevant coping strategies and solutions to help them. They focus on:
- Fear & Worries
- Visiting Hospitals & Hospices
- School & Friends
- Making Memories
Activity Idea Packs
Encouraging Family Communication
Share a Feeling; Create a Family Story; The Family Flag & Motto; A Letter to Mum or Dad; A Mobile of Someone Special
These activities help children to communicate their feelings in creative ways, and help families create their own narratives together.
Worry box; Worry Chatterbox; My Feelings at School Chart; My Grief Den; Scream & Shout Box; Angry & Mad Box; Breathing & Balancing; Your Sleeping Brain; School Support Card; A Card for a Good Friend; A Massive Plaster, Where does it hurt?; My Paperchain People; Daily Timetable; Help Around The House
Different activities to help children find ways to cope and seek reassurance. Children can choose the activities that resonate with them.
Journey#1 Pip Has Fun
Reinforces that having fun whilst a parent is sick is OK.
Journey#2 Pip Goes To Hospital
Photos of spaces and equipment they might see in a hospital to help prepare or help them visualise where their parent might be staying.
Journey#3 Pip Explores Inside A Hospice
Photos of what a child might see within a hospice to help them prepare for a visit or help them visualise where their parent is staying.
What is Cancer?
Basic age appropriate understanding of what cancer is. Common questions and answers are written to dispel any myths.
What is a Hospice?
Understanding what hospices are and how they are differ from hospitals. Helping to familiarise the setting for children.
Death, Dying and Grief
Honest clear age appropriate understanding of what happens when someone is dying and then dead. Provides information the children may not feel able to bring up in conversation with their grown-ups.
Simple meanings of words children are most likely to hear to help them understand and reduce anxieties.
Children aged between 5 and 10 years old. Younger children will need more adult help to explore and engage with the kit. There will be parts that younger children may not fully understand but the kit content lays down the foundation for the family to work on.
Cuddly Pips (one big and one small) for the child and parent. Activities and age appropriate information for the child and the family to help with communication, creating memories, expressing emotions and understanding cancer, dying and grief. Click here to read more.
Each kit costs £40 plus postage and packaging.
We have kept the costs as low as possible to be inclusive, however we do appreciate that this is still too expensive for many families.
Occasionally we receive funding to cover the costs so we can give them away for free on a first come first serve basis. Information when this happens is advertised on our social media platforms. Ask your local hospice, hospital, school or cancer support charity and they may be able to help, or even already have a kit you can use.
This resource has been designed to be taken home and explored by the child and family. Some families may need or prefer support with the kit from their medical or social care team.
There is no prescribed way of using the kit. Not all the tools need to be used. The kit should be used at the child’s pace, for example, children can engage with certain tools, have initial discussions and put the kit away until another time.
The majority of Pip’s Kits will be used in the home. Alternatively kits can be used in hospitals, hospices, cancer charity spaces, schools, in therapy settings – anywhere really.
Yes, this is what the Pip’s Kit is all about to help support children with their pre-bereavement and help create meaningful memories right until the end.
Certainly. The text refers to parents but all the activities and information can be used to help support children facing any bereavement. Grief is grief.
Pip’s Kit is designed for 5-10 year olds. There is a range of activities within the kit to suit different emotional and developmental capacities as obviously every child is different. Younger children will need more help with the reading and understanding but we hope that the process of facilitation delivered by the adult will be an important source of comfort for the child.
The kit can be used anytime after a parent’s diagnosis. It aims to teach children new coping skills which can be used right away.
No. Pip’s Kit can be used regardless of the life limiting disease the parent has. You can remove the What is Cancer? in the information pack, and insert an alternative Pip’s Letter that does not mention cancer.
I’m afraid not at the moment as we are a tiny organisation and all the funds from the kits go back into printing and making more kits.
No. We have the Coping Cards, the Activity Ideas bundle and the Grown Ups booklet to buy separately.
No. You will need one Pip Kit and an ‘Extra Child Pack’. This ensures each child receives the necessary tools. If a family has three children they will need one Pip Kit and two Extra Child Packs, and so on.
Absolutely. It was designed to be taken home and explored by the child and family without the need of professional intervention. There is a guide for adults inside the kit.
Fruit Fly Collective is a small arts and health team and we are fortunate to work with an amazing group of experts in the health and social care fields who reviewed all the Pip’s Kit’s tools. They work in different settings across the UK such as hospitals, hospices, cancer charities and support centres as well as in academia and have lots of experience with childhood bereavement and family therapy.
We were lucky to have 30 different sites across the UK who wanted to sign up to be part of our pilot phase. There were 13 x hospices, 5 x cancer charities and 6 x hospitals.
Pip’s Kit supports children who have a parent/carer diagnosed with terminal cancer or in end of life care. It aims to bring families together during one of their most challenging times, help them understand their grief and to encourage children to talk about how they feel. Pip’s kit offers age appropriate tools and information about cancer, death and grief; coping; and communicating and collecting memories.
Who is it for? Who will benefit?
Pip’s Kit has been designed for children aged between 5–10 years. There are many tools capturing a range of different family’s needs, and children’s preferences.
Parents and carers are supported with a book providing suggestions on ways to support their children and how to start talking to their children about their parent’s end of life. The book also informs them on how children might feel and behave.
Health and social care staff as well as school teaching/pastoral staff may benefit from using Pip’s kit as a way of navigating difficult conversations with families.
How to use it
This resource has been designed to be taken home and explored by the child and family without the need of professional intervention. However, some families may struggle to engage with the kit and require guidance from a professional.
Our FAQ for parents/carers can help explain the tools and provide suggestions on how and why to use them.
There is no prescribed way of using the kit. All the tools do not need to be used. The emphasis is on the child owning the kit, and feeling it is theirs to keep. The kit should be used at their pace, for example, children can engage with tools, have initial discussions and put the kit away until another time.
The kit can be given at any point after the parent has been diagnosed with incurable cancer, regardless of the length of time the parent is predicted to have left.
Where To Use It?
The majority of Pip’s Kits will be used in the home of the affected child if home is regarded a safe space. Alternatively kits can be used in hospitals, hospices, cancer charity spaces, schools or in therapy settings.
Introducing A Patient To Pip’s Kit
Give the patient the postcard about Pip’s Kit to see if they are interested. Ask about their children, the children’s ages, show them the copy of the Grown Up book first or look at our FAQ section.
Show them an example of the kit. Tell them the importance of including children in some capacity in what is happening to their parent.