HELPLINE 01342 313895 – Monday to Friday 9am – 12pm
We recognise that this is a time of ongoing anxiety for all, but especially for your children with the uncertainty brought about by the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is to be able to deliver our bereavement support groups regardless of the Coronavirus restrictions and moving online enables us to deliver consistent, uninterrupted support groups to children and young people.
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we have been unable to deliver our planned groups this summer and autumn and this has caused our waiting list to grow. Once we have undertaken our online pilot groups this autumn, we plan to roll out further groups in the new year to help meet the needs of those waiting for the bereavement support groups.
Your support worker will be in contact with you to discuss your family’s current needs and to continue to provide you with advice and guidance in the meantime.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to your named support worker.
During the pandemic, our service will be online and by telephone contact. We have a dedicated telephone HELPLINE – 01342 313895. This will be staffed Monday – Friday from 9 am to 12 pm. Outside of these hours please leave a message and your call will be returned by one of the team as soon as possible.
Supporting bereaved children and young people
The loss of a close family member can be hard for children and young people to understand and difficult for adults to talk to them about. Children may ask many questions or they may say nothing at all. Either way, it is not easy to support them when the family has experienced such a loss.
Jigsaw (South East) is here to help support you through that very difficult time. Children are quick to notice when something important has happened – silence can bewilder and frighten them. They need to be given an explanation in an age-appropriate, honest way. They need to feel that they can have the information repeated or ask new questions.
There is no ‘correct’ order or time limit on children’s responses to grief. They will move from laughter to sorrow, from anger to fear and back again. They will need you to understand and help them to manage their feelings.
What we can offer
• Early grief support and reassurance to families, around the loss of a loved one, by telephone or video link
• Individual support with children and young people via telephone or video link where appropriate
• Information and advice around funerals and what to expect during this challenging time**
• Signposting to other agencies and organisations, e.g. for financial advice, coronavirus and its impact on children and families
• Peer to peer support via online Grief Support groups
• Ongoing support to families awaiting our group sessions and services.
**Due to the government restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been many changes to normal practices following the death of a loved one. These include restrictions on the attendance of family and friends at a funeral and these could potentially become more restrictive in the coming weeks and months. Current guidance can be found here at Funeral Advice
Our Grief Support team strive to offer you the most up to date, relevant information, particularly in the current environment of rapid change to normal situations. Our aim is to help you support your children, explain the current restrictions and find ways to remember the loved one who had died.
Winston’s Wish has produced some guidance which may be helpful in talking to children: Coronavirus Funerals – Alternative Goodbyes
Supporting bereaved children and young people during the outbreak
The Coronavirus pandemic means that many aspects of children’s lives are changing. School is closed for the majority, many parents are working from home, and families are having to spend time apart when they would like to be together.
Many children will have questions and worries about the virus, but those who have experienced the death of someone important or who have an ill family member might be particularly worried. Below are some tips about supporting bereaved children with worries and concerns about the virus.
- Child Bereavement UK has made a short film about supporting bereaved children during the outbreak
- Winston’s Wish has produced guidance on: talking to bereaved children about coronavirus
- Telling a child that someone has died from coronavirus
- Do you need to talk to your child about the death of a loved one in the context of COVID-19? Belfast Health and Social Care Trust have produced a short film which you can watch HERE.
- Cruse Bereavement Care have produced some tips about talking to children among their wider resources about grief and coronavirus
- Grief Encounter are running activities for bereaved children and families on their Instagram page.
- The BBC has also published a useful guide and video about talking to your child during the present pandemic.
- The NSPCC has created an online Hub providing advice and support for parents and carers during the coronavirus outbreak. Content includes information on keeping children safe from abuse; tips and advice to help parents working from home; and ways to talk to a child who is anxious or worried about coronavirus.
- Visit the Hub: Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers
- Read information about how to help someone bereaved during the coronavirus pandemic HERE.