CHRISTMAS is often seen as a happy time for children but each year there are youngsters who have to face a tough and daunting challenge.

These children have recently lost someone close to them and their first Christmas when someone they love is missing can be an emotional time.

The Kemp for Kids service operated by Kemp Hospice makes practical and emotional support available to every bereaved child and young person in the Wyre Forest and surrounding areas.

The support is particularly valuable for children who are struggling at Christmas to come to terms with a recent bereavement.

Adults around them may not realise there is a problem and as a result, many bereaved children at Christmas have no choice but to face their grief alone.

The Kemp for Kids team works with every child individually to find out how help can best be provided.

Kemp urges that if anyone knows a child, or an adult, who needs bereavement support over the holiday season, they should contact the hospice.

Calls will be taken every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Gifts for the Kemp for Kids programme such as colouring books, craft materials and pencils are particularly appreciated at this time of year.

Kemp aims to raise £30,000 in 30 weeks through its Children’s Appeal to help deliver a range of programmes around the district to support bereaved children.

The appeal is being run in association with The Shuttle, which will feature appeal updates every week in a bid to help the hospice reach its target as quickly as possible.