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Listen to Bereaved Children, Urge Charities

Tuesday November 23 2021

A church-founded children’s bereavement charity has joined calls for a renewed focus on children who have lost their parent or carer during Covid-19.

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 in July 2021. And over 50,000 children have had a parent, guardian or carer die from other causes over the last 20 months.

As childhood bereavement support services across the country mark Children’s Grief Awareness Week (November 18-25), 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.

Among the charities taking part is Richmond’s Hope, which was founded at Richmond Craigmillar Church of Scotland, Edinburgh, in 1997.

Dr Martin Scott, Chief Executive of Richmond’s Hope said: “Over the past year, we've seen a huge increase in demand for our services. Some of the children we see have experienced extremely challenging situations in their young lives. COVID-19 and isolation have really magnified the impact of bereavement and reduced the access of children and young people to their regular coping strategies - such as friends, family and routine. Richmond's Hope uses therapeutic play and specialised grief activities as a way to help children preserve memories, identify feelings and develop personalised coping strategies. You can make a donation online at richmondshope.org.uk. and help Richmond's Hope continue to be there for bereaved children and young people when they need it most.”

Richmond’s Hope is part of the Childhood Bereavement Network, a network of charities and other organisations supporting children, young people and their families dealing with grief and bereavement, and supporting local schools and children’s professionals too. The sector has seen fundraising income cut substantially as the pandemic impacted on many core fundraising activities and challenges. This Children’s Grief Awareness Week, campaigners are calling on the public to support their local service or organisation so this work can continue into 2022.

For more information visit https://childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/about-1/what-we-do/our-priorities/childrens-grief-awareness-week, and you can get involved on social media using #SayTheWords.


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