The loss of a close family member can be hard for children 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.
Download our leaflet for more information.
We can provide
- Advice and support to families and professionals by telephone or e-mail
- A meeting in the family home or at school
- Support and resources for schools and professionals to help bereaved families
- A family support group run over six weeks including one Saturday. We have age appropriate activities such as memory boxes to help families to make and keep memories, to process the loss, learn some coping strategies and meet others in similar situations. This gives families the opportunity to talk, grieve and celebrate the life of the person who has died. As well as make new relationships with other families, build a support network and have fun
- Volunteers who sit alongside children and families to support them through the groups
On-going support for children and families
- A young people’s participation group called ‘Your Say’ which gives them the opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas to shape future support
Our Grief Support Groups
The main way that we support bereaved families is through our six-week family Grief Support Groups (for young people aged 5-17), which take place on one evening a week plus a Saturday in East Grinstead, Reigate or Guildford.
These invite all family members to come along and take part in some gentle therapeutic activities (in separate adult, young people and children’s groups) that aim to open up communication around the person that has died, emotions and feelings and to provide coping strategies going forward. For children especially, it can be hugely beneficial to be with others who are in a similar situation as themselves.
If a family is willing to attend groups, the next step would be to complete the referral form, then a Grief Support Worker will be in touch with you and/or the family directly to arrange a home visit to meet everyone (although this can be done elsewhere if appropriate). There, they will discuss the groups in more detail and assess how everyone is coping (and whether they are ready to attend – we don’t advise anyone to attend too soon after the loss of a loved one).
Download more information about our groups here.
We do not offer one-to-one counselling, unless it is one or two sessions in preparation for the groups.
Feedback from families
“You have had an immense impact on the kids and my life. We will be forever grateful and feel blessed that you came into our lives supporting us.”
“Just a note from us to thank you for supporting us over the past six weeks. We have all found the groups so helpful and you have helped us to be even closer than we already were. You will never know the difference you have made.”
“Words cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us. We really enjoyed coming to the groups. They were excellently organised and the activities and discussion groups were so beneficial to us. It has been good to know we are not alone – we loved all the other families sadly going through the same as us.”
Get in touch
Here’s how to access support