Children’s Grief Awareness Week, held in November every year, is an opportunity to acknowledge the experiences of bereaved children and young people across the United Kingdom. This year it runs from 17 – 23 November and is linked internationally with the Children’s Grief Awareness Day, held each year on the Thursday before Thanksgiving.
Often, children and young people are forgotten mourners, and the week is a chance to support those children and young people affected, along with local childhood bereavement services, like Jigsaw, who offer support.
This year, Jigsaw (South East) is sharing the thoughts and reflections of the families we support over on our social media channels. We aim to help shine a light on the importance of our bereavement support for children and young people and the difference it can make to their future.
If you’re not already following us there, we’d love you to follow and support us on social media – you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and our handle is @jigsasoutheast across all platforms.
The importance of our service
When children and young people receive good support from childhood bereavement services, it matters. Jigsaw families tell us that our service is invaluable. Running for over 10 years, we have:
- Supported 2133 children and young people
- Trained 355 adults in how to help children and young people through their bereavement
- Run 43 Family Support Groups
- Organised Family Days, activity days and other social events for children and young people
- Trained nearly 600 professionals on how they can support bereaved pupils
We have also evolved our service to meet the needs of those we support including the introduction of a helpline and a preparing for loss service in addition to grief support.
UK Commission on Bereavement Report
A recent report from the independent UK Commission on Bereavement, ‘Bereavement is Everyone’s Business’ highlights precisely why this support is so vital for these families. Many bereaved children and young people who responded to the Commission valued the structured support that bereavement services can offer. Children and young people appreciated feeling understood, being able to talk to someone who ‘got it’, getting help managing their thoughts and feelings, remembering the person who had died, and building their confidence.
[The service] has helped with vocalising feelings and coping strategies aimed at her age (Parent of child aged 5 to 12) – UKCB report
You can read about the independent UK Commission on Bereavement’s findings including:
- a summary report,
- a short report written for children and young people,
- reports in a variety of languages
- and the full 205 page report