What a Week!
Thank you so much to everyone who helped to amplify children and young people's voices last week. The support you offered on social media was fantastic and we saw so many different ways to engage and encourage children and young people around their grief.
We also heard from children and young people around the UK, with the word clouds that they created highlighting the amazing work of the sector:
It was a chance to talk.
I could express my feelings.
I wasn’t alone.
We will be posting more information about the reach of the Week soon. In the meantime, please make sure you highlight the opportunity for bereaved children and young people to take part in the UK Commission for Bereavement within your organisations and services.
Off the radar: bereaved children and young people
At least 10,000 children have been bereaved of a primary caregiver across the UK due to the pandemic according to research published in the Lancet[i] in July 2021. And over 50,000 children have had a parent, guardian or carer die from other causes over the last 20 months[ii].
As childhood bereavement support services across the country mark Children’s Grief Awareness Week (18-25 November), charities are asking the public to listen to bereaved children and young people and understand how important it is to them to receive support when they are grieving. Their words have been captured in a series of word clouds, with an overwhelming message of support, community and acceptance.
Gail Precious, Coordinator of the Childhood Bereavement Network, said:
“The number of children bereaved during the coronavirus outbreak should be national news. But after over 20 months of dealing with the pandemic, we have become desensitised to those grieving all around us. We have stopped listening to the bereaved, particularly children and young people. These children are often trying to cope under-the-radar of those around them, unheeded and invisible.”
The charities have also asked bereaved children and young people what they would say to another bereaved child or young person who is not yet receiving specialist support. The sector is acutely aware that with the increase in bereavement, there are children out there who could benefit from being in a welcoming environment to support them around their grief. Again, children have endorsed the vital work offered by childhood bereavement practitioners.
The Children's Grief Awareness Week steering group