Child bereavement charity
When a baby or child dies, or when a child is bereaved, the support needs of those affected can go far beyond the emotional and physical resources of immediate family and friends. Sometimes there's a need for specialised knowledge; sometimes for the objectivity that comes with distance from the death. At such a difficult time, a child bereavement charity or support group can be a welcome source of advice, practical help and comfort.
And of course, let's not forget how, so often, death comes out of the blue, like a stone cast suddenly into the placid waters of family life. Hard as bereavement is for adults to deal with, the task can be almost incomprehensibly bewildering when children are involved.
Services offered by UK child bereavement charities
Independent support groups or child bereavement charities offer a wide range of services including the following:
- Telephone bereavement hotlines
- Help with understanding bereavement
- Access to practical information and advice
- Counselling or links to reputable counselling services
- Online resources available for 24/7 access
- Reading lists
- Articles and leaflets
The following are some of the main organisations that support bereaved children and their families in the UK:
Cruse Bereavement Care
In its own words: 'Cruse Bereavement Care exists to promote the well-being of bereaved people and to enable anyone bereaved by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss. Services are free to bereaved people. The charity provides support and offers information, advice, education and training services.'
Cruse, named after an Old Testament passage about a widow's cruse (a jar of oil) that never ran out, offers a special service for children and young people under the RD4U ('ready for you') identity.
Cruse young person's freephone helpline: 0808 808 1677
The Child Bereavement Charity (formerly the Child Bereavement Trust)
In its own words: 'The charity's vision is for all bereaved children and grieving families to have access to relevant support and information from appropriately trained professionals. The charity provides support and information to all affected by the death of a baby or child or when children are bereaved and accessible training for the professionals who work with these families and children.'
The Childhood Bereavement Network
In its own words: 'The Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN) is a national, multi-professional federation of organisations and individuals working with bereaved children and young people. It involves, and is actively supported by, all the major bereavement care providers in the UK.'
*Also referred to informally as 'Winstons Wish' or 'Winstons Wishes'.
In its own words: 'Winston's Wish, the charity for bereaved children, helps young people re-adjust to life after the death of a parent or sibling. By providing professional assistance before, during and after bereavement [we] help them to better understand the nature of loss and offer the practical support and guidance that many need in order to cope throughout the grieving process.'
Telephone helpline: 08452 03 04 05
London E1 6BR
Tel: 020 7239 1000; 0800 1111 (24-hour helpline)
Remember a child bereavement charity in your will
Have you or your family benefitted from the support of a child bereavement charity? If so, what could be more meaningful than leaving a bequest to their ongoing work when it's time to make your will?
At the Well Planned Funeral, we make it easy to ensure that your funeral wishes, legacy requests and other personal wishes are fulfilled after your death. To spare your loved ones the anguish of second guessing your wishes, why not use our secure, easy to use, online Your Funeral Plan and Wishes product?
We also offer you two convenient will making products, (one is free, the second is a paid-for solicitor-checked will) as well as our Your Life CD and Memories product for your pictures and music, and our Online Memorial.
Other Helpful Suggestions
Search out books for children about death that are suitable for their age. In the unlikely event of your death have you taken steps for the legal guardianship of your children? Learn how to deal with bereavement in children.