Petal Support Limited

8 Barrack Street

Hamilton, ML3 0DG

Office Hours are:

Monday - Thursday 9am - 5pm

Friday 9am - 4pm

01698 324502

The support for Children and Young People is an integral part of the services offered by PETAL.

We provide support to Children & Young People affected by murder or suicide. They are either supported individually or in groups.

Our Child Therapist, Anne MacFarlane works one to one with the children. Anne has many years of experience dealing with children who have suffered a loss through Murder or Suicide. She understands the complexities this type of devastating loss can have on a young developing mind. We have a Children and Young person's room in Hamilton. Specifically aimed at helping the children express themselves through arts and crafts and play.

The group support is also designed, provided and organised by our Child Therapist, Anne. The group provides a safe and creative way for children and young people to explore feelings, memories, loss and grief through play and activities together.

The group helps our Children and Young People develop a better understanding of themselves, improves their self esteem and helps them find the confidence to deal with life after what's happened to them.

 There have been some great activities including going to Mini Mudders in Dumfries in June 2016 and working as a team.

 For parents and carers unsure on how to speak or explain to the children about what's happened, Anne can have a telephone consultation or a parent meeting to discuss all these aspects with you.

Our premises in Hamilton are open from 9.00 am to approx 5.00 pm during week days.

We utilise the services of sessional counsellors, holistic therapists, and psychotherapeutic therapists (delivering NLP, EFT and EMDR).

We work to meet the needs of our staff, by adhering to best practice and professional guidelines and all receive external supervision from BACP (British Association for

Counselling & Psychotherapy) accredited Supervisors on a 4 weekly cycle.

Within this system we also provide limited placement opportunities each year to student counsellors.

Our therapy programmes are scheduled for up to ten to twelve session period where the counsellor and client discuss progress on a week-to- week basis.  The overall amount of sessions are based on ongoing client assessments with the counsellor and Petal Staff. The programme is shortened and or extended based on the goals and achievements of the individual. At the end of the programme clients have the choice to continue with contact through telephone support, social interaction, self-support groups and mentoring.

In response to the recognised need of our younger members we introduced a children and young persons therapy room.  The décor and environment is warm, comfortable with audio, visual, sensory equipment, books, toys and games.  The young people respond well and we will continue to develop both the service and the environment around their identified needs.


  • Adults: One to one Counselling: Telephone Counselling: Volunteers and paid sessional counsellors and therapists dedicate time to each person, using positive and therapeutic techniques to help individuals manage and understand the effects of significant change, loss and grief
  • Families: members receive one to one counselling
  • Suicide Prevention: this is provided when counsellors are concerned with the response and or behaviour of individual clients.  The counsellor use recognised suicide prevention techniques.
  • Hollistic Therapies: supports and enhances progress within the counselling pathway
  • Advocacy: practical advice on a number of aspects: legal process and systems, housing, employment, compensation, dealing with the media
  • Mediation: between clients and employers, education, housing, social security and others.
  • Volunteering: recruitment: training: placement: opportunities

The work carried out by PETAL has contributed to a number of important changes taking place within the Judicial Process.

We attend regular meetings with both Statutory and Voluntary organisations associated with the Criminal Justice Process, to ensure that the rights of Victims’ Families are heard and clearly represented.

We have been involved in providing advice and training to a wide range of Groups and Associations regarding Understanding Trauma in relation to Murder and Suicide.

This has led to PETAL being invited to provide a Representative to serve on wide range of committees and participating on a number of enquiries.

With all the ongoing developments within the Scottish Criminal Justice System it is essential that PETAL continues to represent its members at every opportunity and at the highest level.

The range and quality of the service provision to PETAL clients has continued to improve and develop and for the benefit of our members we are committed to ensuring that this will continue into the future.

Following Murder or Culpable Homicide loved ones of the deceased find the anxiety and depression physically and emotionally debilitating. When the depression can include suicidal ideation this can be very dangerous.

It is not unusual for loved ones to report having suicidal ideation and these thoughts are very frightening, especially as in the majority of cases they have never experienced suicidal thoughts previously.

During our assessment and support we attempt to determine any previous history of depression. Males, especially do not readily disclose feelings of anxiety and depression.

We treat all suicide ideation from our members extremely seriously. All suicidal ideation or any threats voiced, even those seemingly made in jest, should be taken seriously and addressed immediately

Suicide Prevention techniques are employed when counsellors are concerned with the response and or behaviour of individual clients.  The support programme extends beyond the usual six week therapy period. There are other organisations providing this type of support.  However we have recognised through our years of experience that it is more effective to maintain the relationship between counsellor and a client which has already been formed and an understanding of need established, rather than refer clients on to a new counsellor at a separate organisation.

The counsellors carry out approved methods of assessment with clients and make referrals to primary care, community psychiatric nursing, social work and or mental health teams when this type of intervention is required.  Our organisation works closely with professional health and social care workers to ensure our assessment process is continuously updated and is appropriate to meet the needs of everyone involved.

The Support Provision by PETAL centres on  Practical and Emotional Support to assist clients to come to terms with the implications of traumatic events in a number of ways:

  • We encourage clients to leave the security of their home and attend petal to receive a comprehensive range of support services dependant on their individual needs.
  • Clients utilise PETAL as a Centre for Support.
  • Individual Support for Children.
  • One to One Counselling provided by qualified Counsellors.
  • Telephone Support is provided to those families outwith a reasonable travelling distance.
  • Telephone Counselling can also be arranged.
  • Support and advice on the completion of Criminal Injuries Application Forms.
  • Provide advice on dealing with the Media.
  • Liaise with The Procurators Fiscal service on behalf of the Family

Telephone support & counselling is provided to clients that are unable to attend the support centre in Hamilton. We are also working towards providing the full range of PETAL’s support services in other locations. Spreading our expertise by sharing premises with other support organisations will allow PETAL to deliver a variety of social interaction and health related activities to our members.

The initial outreach program is being delivered to two specific areas of high need, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The service will operate over a period of 3 days  and opening times will reflect fluctuations in demand in each location. To keep cost to a minimum we are partnering with other voluntary led organisations in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh.