Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK runs from 15th – 21st November 2018 starting with Children’s Grief Awareness Day on the 15th November, a global day designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the benefits they obtain through the support of others.
1 in 29 school age children in the UK have been bereaved of a parent or a sibling. The week is designed to raise awareness of bereaved children and young people in the UK, and how providing those affected with free, professional support can make the world of difference to their future.
Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK 2018 will be an opportunity to acknowledge the painful impact that the death of a loved one has on the life of a child, and an opportunity to make sure these children receive the support they need. The theme for the week is #RememberWhen – encouraging families to share memories together of the person who has died. Whether it’s a place, a joke, a food or a story, giving children and young people a chance to talk about their loved one, and to find out more about them from friends and family.
LGfL have partnered with Child Bereavement UK to produce a series of advice videos, guidance and links to support schools in managing a sudden death in the school community. Grief is a normal and natural response to loss, yet how pupils are supported can have significant impacts on long term outcomes. Young people have told Child Bereavement UK that how their school responds is something they never forget. The resource aims to provide an accessible support gateway to the effective response to death within a school community. Simple, short guidance through quotes, external links and video interviews with experts helps provide the information schools need at the right time to ensure the whole school community can work together to support each other. Child Bereavement UK are experts in supporting schools within the context of bereavement within a school community. Through their work they have identified some of the key barriers in responding appropriately and quickly to the needs of those affected by a bereavement. By working in partnership with LGfL, this open access portal has been designed to bring the key information in both a video and text format with a quick and accessible interface.
There are two ways in which this resource has been designed to be used:
- General Staff CPD – raising staff awareness.
- Use in time for need
The Support Gateway includes the following topics:
- The first 30 minutes
- Breaking bad news
- Supporting a bereaved family
- Supporting the school staff
- Traumatic deaths
- Social media and media relations
- Looking to the future
Video clips, information packs and external links are provided for staff to deliver comprehensive support, they include assembly plans as well as sample bereavement policies for schools to use and adapt.
There are lots of resources to support schools in dealing with grief within the school community, we have listed them below and we hope that you find some of these helpful in supporting children, parents and staff in the event of a death.
Child Bereavement UK: The death of a pupil, a parent or a member of staff can have a significant impact on the school community. Schools have a unique role in helping grieving children and young people. Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement, and has a wide range of information, resources and training for schools. They launched a video campaign #onemoreminute what would you say if you had one more minute:
Children’s Grief Awareness Day: Posters and fact sheets, suggestions for bulletin or newsletter announcements, and logos and other graphics are all available.
Childhood Bereavement Network: Has key messages for staff, parents and young people and ideas of how to support within school.
Cruse Bereavement Care: Cruse offers face-to-face, telephone, email and website support including information on: what you can do to help a child or young person who is grieving, how to understand the concept of loss in children and young people of different ages, how to recognise potential complicated grief. They have a Freephone national helpline and local services, and a website (hopeagain.org.uk) specifically for children and young people.
BBC: The BBC have a range of articles and videos that can be used within school, Talking about Bereavement details the work that Children in Need have supported. Talking about death with your little one is an excellent video from Cbeebies that looks at the fact that when someone close to you dies, there will always be some difficult questions asked by your little ones regarding death. The video shoes how one parent has learnt to talk openly about why ‘Mummy’ died, in a way that makes sense to his two young children.
Winston’s Wish: Is the first charity that was set up to support bereaved children, their support for schools is extensive and includes a charter for bereaved children, an information pack and information on helping children create a memory box.