Shannon Todd Booth, communications and fund development manager with the Langley Hospice Society, has been helping distribute blue bulbs to local businesses such as the Langley Advance Times. Again this year the newspaper supports the campaign to raise awareness about child and teen grief, says publisher Lisa Farquharson. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Are you seeing blue lights around at Langley businesses? Learn about their meaning

Paint the Town Blue is a local campaign to raise awaress about child and teen grief

Blue lights glowing around Langley will show support for grieving children and teens.

The Langley Hospice Society’s Paint the Town Blue campaign returns again this year, culminating on Nov. 14 which is Children’s Grief Awareness Day.

The society has been distributing blue light bulbs asking businesses and individuals to light the bulbs on Nov. 14 and display them where the public can see their support for the cause.

“We wanted something simple to raise awareness,” said Shannon Todd Booth, the society’s communications and fund development manager.

People are then asked to social media out a photo of their blue bulb participation with the hashtag #CGAD2019 and/or #LangleyCares.

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The day is intended to show young people who have experienced the death of a loved one that they are not forgotten as well as remind people that children and teens grieve.

“Children grieve very differently than adults,” she explained.

Children who have lost a loved one may find they need support years later when they reach certain life milestones or make transitions such as entering junior high school or graduating. Todd Booth explained that’s often when the grief returns because that loved one is not there to share in the joys and sorrows of the young person’s life.

Due to demand for services for children and teens, the hospice has two full-time staff members overseeing the youth bereavement programming. The society can offer one on one counselling for children even those to young to be in school. It also has support groups for children four and older, and when asked, counselling in the schools.

“So we are bringing supports to children where they are,” Todd Booth said.

To mark Children’s Grief Awareness Day 2019, the hospice society has two banners being installed in Langley City prior to the day.

As well, the society is hosting two workshops tailored to helping young people.

“We’re also excited this year to be offering a couple of workshops, thanks to funding we’ve received through community grants from the City of Langley and Township of Langley,” Todd Both said.

From noon to 3 p.m. on Nov. 14, parents, neighbours, teachers, school counsellors, and anyone interested can attend a session with experts on the topic of best practices to support grieving children and teens.

The second workshop is for professionals and costs $20. Navigating the Family Blueprint is specific about supporting young people when a family member has a serious illness. It’s 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Both workshops take place at H.D. Stafford Middle School, 20441 Grade Cres. People can sign up for the workshops at langleyhospice.com/cgad or call 604-530-1115 for more information.

There are more than 70 people signed up but “we still have room for more,” Todd Booth noted.

“We’ve invited our local youth service organizations to have displays, so folks can take a look at what supports are in place in our community” she noted.

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Did You Know….Children’s Grief Awareness Day happens the third Thursday in November This year, the Langley Hospice Society is once again inviting local business to help them “PAINT THE TOWN BLUE” on November 14th by turning on a blue light bulb at their place of business for the day. We will be lighting up our Supportive Program Centre in Langley in BLUE LIGHTS and inviting the community to JOIN US in PAINTING THE TOWN BLUE in honour of these often forgotten mourners – the grieving children and teens in our community. If you and your business would like to participate, please drop by our Supportive Program Centre at 20660 – 48th Avenue in Langley, BC and sign up and pick up your bulb. Please note there are limited bulbs available. Share your activities on social media with the hashtag #CGAD2019 and/or #LangleyCares "Children’s Grief Awareness Day is an opportunity to bring to mind the children and teens all around us who have experienced the death of a loved one, and to let grieving children and teens know that they’re not forgotten in the midst of their grief…"

A post shared by Langley Hospice Society (@langleyhospice) on

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