Specialist counselling sessions help children and young people affected by sight loss. Expansion of this vital service at Moorfields will provide children with individual psychological and emotional support over the next two years.

The challenge

Moorfields sees over 70,000 paediatric patients a year from all over the UK. The anxiety and stress felt by children and young people affected by sight loss can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to cope and we know that early intervention and support can make all the difference.

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70,000

paediatric patients a year

Finding a solution

Thanks to generous support from London Freemasons, we have funding to expand Moorfields’ children’s counselling services with an additional part-time counsellor. This will ensure the hospital can deliver counselling support to more children and families in need. Crucially, counselling will also be extended to 16-18 year olds, who currently cannot access adult services.

The counsellor will work closely with families and co-ordinate with external agencies including schools and visual impairment services. They will also liaise with the multidisciplinary team at Moorfields.

Sessions can be tailored to the age of the child, for example using toys and play to aid conversations with younger patients.

The potential

We estimate that more than 1,000 children and young people will be helped by this project over the next two years.

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1,000+

children and young people helped

Children will complete a survey before and after the session to understand their progress, for example their feelings about life, social situations, school and family members.

The impact of counselling can be transformational. We want to meet psychological and emotional needs early on and help children cope and respond to distressing change as a result of sight loss. We are incredibly grateful for the support we have from London Freemasons to support this important work.

Mally Scrutton, paediatric matron at the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre

I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help with this hugely important work. When I was a child, I had a series of operations on my eyes at Moorfields and I know from personal experience that trying to cope with sight loss can be devastating. It’s essential that children and young people have age-appropriate counselling to help them adjust and move on with their lives.

Trevor Koschalka from London Freemasons

The grant from London Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Project Details

Funding scheme

Patient support scheme

Grant holder

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Research area(s)

Patient experience | Paediatrics

Start date

June 2020

Amount awarded

£78,603

Grant reference

GR001186