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Supporting Bereaved Children and Young People

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Feb, 2021 08:44 PM

As the news about coronavirus remains high profile in the news, bereavement, grief and death are issues that many children and young people will be experiencing or concerned about, and our parishes and schools are very much involved in offering support.

Supporting Bereaved Children and Young People

Original photo Pixabay

In Bridport and the surrounding area, bereavement and questions about death were regularly raised as a concern for children and young people before Covid-19 had even been heard of.

The Bridport Community Hub - a partnership between local schools, churches and the Diocese - has been working to equip adults who work with children and young people in the area to feel confident in offering support and answering questions.

A key part of this has been to help those who are faced with a possible bereavement understand that death and loss is a part of life, and that support is available for those who have been bereaved.

Funded by the Aldhelm Mission Fund, the Dorset bereavement charity Mosaic has run 2 online training sessions for school and community group leaders. These focussed on bereavement in children and in adolescence.

Participants were given the opportunity to

  • Gain a basic overview of loss, grief and bereavement
  • Begin to understand how a child's age and development influences their understanding of death
  • Start developing confidence and skills for supporting a bereaved child
  • Appreciate the importance of self-awareness in supporting others
  • Consider practical resources to use with children
  • Recognise the importance of looking after ourselves and identifying ways to self-support

After Easter, there will be follow-up workshops.

A session for school staff will include how to talk about death in the school curriculum and how to support and equip other staff.

A session for leaders in community groups - toddler groups, sports clubs, uniformed organisations or youth workers - will discuss how this might relate to their context, where they might offer specific support, and how they can better prepare children and young people to feel comfortable to ask questions and talk about death and dying.

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