Every 22 minutes a child in Britain is bereaved of a parent. This equates to over 24,000 newly bereaved children each and every year. In total, around 480,000 under-18s have experienced the death of a parent or sibling. The death of a parent or sibling is one of the most fundamental losses a child will ever face. Studies show that if childhood grief is not dealt with appropriately it can have a deep and lasting effect on a child’s emotional well-being and cause problems later in life.
Consequences can include anger, depression, sleeping difficulties, relationship problems and mental health issues. Sadly, some bereaved children are more likely to try drugs, become pregnant or break the law, by the age of 18, than those who have not lost a parent.
We believe bereaved children need support to make sense of death and rebuild their lives.
Winston’s Wish helps children confronted by the death of a parent or sibling to face the future with confidence and hope. We are the largest provider of childhood bereavement services in the UK and offer the widest range of practical support and guidance to children, families, professionals and anyone concerned about a bereaved child. We know from experience that the right support offered at the right time can have a life-changing impact on bereaved children and young people.
Our professionally qualified clinical practitioners help children and their families before, during and after bereavement so they can understand the nature of loss and live with their grief. Winston’s Wish believes that expressing grief is a healthy response to death for children as well as adults. We therefore encourage children and families to share their feelings with each other so they can talk confidently about their bereavement. This approach is based on many years’ experience, sound research and evaluation.
Winston’s Wish provides professional therapeutic help in individual, group and residential settings, and via a national Helpline, interactive website and publications. In order to carry out this work we depend almost entirely on voluntary donations for our income.
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