Manifesto for Grieving Children

On the first day of Children’s Grief Awareness Week 2019, we’re launching our Manifesto for Grieving Children.

Every 22 minutes, a parent dies in the UK leaving dependent children. That’s over 2,000 parents over the course of this General Election campaign. Many other children and young people are bereaved of a brother, sister, grandparent or someone else close. While many get great support from family, friends and school to help them through, others struggle to find the help they need. Bereavement brings long term consequences and risks, and getting the right support is key.

The General Election gives you a chance to raise issues affecting bereaved children, young people and their families with your local candidates, and ask them what they would do to improve support if they were elected.

What can you do?

  • Email or tweet at your candidates asking for their views. You can find who your candidates are here.
  • Talk to candidates who knock on your door or are out and about in public. Be ready to talk to them about issues that matter to you, and ask how they would make things better for the next generation of widowed parents and their children.
  • Go along a local hustings. These are public meetings for particular constituencies: candidates are invited to talk and respond to questions. You can go along and ask a question. Check your local newspapers, libraries and the internet for listings of hustings in your area.
  • Ask for a meeting. You can ask to meet your local candidates on particular issues of concern to you.

What can you ask?

The Childhood Bereavement Network wants support to be available to all bereaved children and young people, wherever they live and however they have been bereaved. Our Manifesto for Grieving Children has simple pledges. You could ask your candidates how they would meet these commitments if they were elected.

Financial support

  • End discrimination against grieving children whose parents were living together but not married
  • Restore longer term support for widowed parents to help them put their grieving children’s needs first

Support in school

  • Ensure every school is prepared to respond to the death of a pupil, staff member or someone important in a pupil’s life, or news that a death is expected
  • Give all children and young people opportunities to learn how to cope with loss and bereavement

Extra support

  • Provide a platform of sustainable funding so that all children and their families facing and following bereavement can access extra support if they need it


  • Collect data on how many children are bereaved each year in the local area, and what support they need

Support for all children

  • Because bereaved children are children first, we’re supporting NCB’s call for a national strategy for all children and young people, backed by an investment of £10 billion, with children’s voices at the heart.

Read more details of our manifesto pledges here.