HELPLINE 01342 313895 Monday – Friday 9am – 12pm
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 children through the loss of a loved one
Jigsaw (South East) supports children, young people and families. Hearing the news that someone in the family has a life-threatening illness can come as a great shock.
Often adults struggle with the news, and the uncertainty of the days ahead may seem overwhelming. They may wonder what is best for the children and how much they should know, while wanting to protect them. They may also struggle with the words and ways to tell the children and worry that they will not be able to support them in their grief. But children are quick to notice when things are not right. Silence can be bewildering and frightening.
Children and young people need to be kept informed about what is going on in a way that they can understand and start to come to terms with what is happening. They can find themselves feeling isolated and alone at school, when friends and other adults in their lives do not know, understand, or are not confident in being able to help.
What we can offer
Jigsaw (South East), funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, provides a service for children and young people aged 0-19, who have a family member with a life-threatening condition. We are a family-led service and our support is tailored to each individual family’s needs.
• Initial meeting at home
• Individual support with children and young people via telephone or video link where appropriate.
• Telephone advice and information
• Signposting to other agencies and organisations
• Information, resources and support to professionals working with families and children in Surrey and parts of West Sussex and Kent, where possible.
Further advice about how to tell a child a loved one is dying, see our leaflet below:
End of Life Care
In accordance with current government guidelines on social distancing, we are aware that hospitals and hospices have been forced to make changes that will affect families when their loved ones are being cared for in these environments.
Jigsaw (South East) is in contact with national and local services to help keep the families we support up to date with current restrictions and to help offer support and guidance regarding how to support children in these challenging times.
Hospice UK has brought together links to official guidance and resources to provide information for people about the current outbreak of Coronavirus in the UK: Clinical and Care support – Coronavirus guidance.
Download information here about talking to your child to help them prepare for loss. Our Preparing for Loss team can help you before, during and after this conversation.
Supporting bereaved children and young people during the outbreak
The Coronavirus pandemic means that many aspects of children’s lives are changing. Many parents are working from home, and family and friends 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
- They have also produced some useful cards for children to help them communicate with a loved one whilst separated – How to Stay Connected.
- Winston’s Wish has produced guidance on: talking to bereaved children about coronavirus
- telling a child that someone is seriously ill
- telling a child that someone has died from coronavirus
- Cruse Bereavement Care have produced some tips about talking to children among their wider resources about grief and coronavirus
- Grief Encounter is 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