Neville Funerals has delivered over 300 of their specialist ‘Supporting a Child Through Bereavement and Beyond’ booklet to local schools across the region.
We had originally produced the free guide in response to common questions asked by parents and relatives, who were struggling to support children through bereavement.
First published last year, the booklet is designed to help parents or carers support children through what could be quite a difficult time and covers a range of topics including how to break bad news; typical behaviours and what to look out for; how to explain a funeral, burial or cremation; and looking to the future.
Being at the front line of key workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and witnessing the widespread devastation caused to families and friends as a result, the team decided that supplying these specialist books to schools could reach a larger number of those pupils mourning the loss of family members and help young people in their community come to terms with their loss.
Charmian Alexander, our director: “With our usual bereavement services and forums, such as Talking Elephants, temporarily on hold, we looked to what else we could do to offer support across our communities and so quickly set to print a number of extra copies of the Child Bereavement booklet to be able to distribute them to where they could do most good. We felt that the schools could themselves make best use of the resource, whether they are open for the children of key workers, selected year groups or planning for the new academic year in September.
“When children experience bereavement, it can be a very difficult time as they try to cope with unfamiliar feelings and comprehend what has happened and why. We get lots of questions from parents and carers who are unsure how to best support their children, especially when they themselves are grieving.
“Every child is unique and will cope with their loss in their own way. There’s no rule book that says how to support your child but we hope our guide helps supporting adults to make sense of things for the children in their care, answers some questions and gives a better understanding of what they might need throughout the days, weeks, months and even years ahead.”
Jo Adams is Head Teacher at William Austin Junior School in Luton: “Thank you very much for the booklet that came through the post today. It is excellent. We have had a number of pupils who have lost grandparents, and also staff members who have lost parents, or other members of their family. I can see how this would help us support pupils when they return to school.”
Alison Symonds is Senior Assistant Head Teacher for St Josephs & St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School in Bedford: “We were really pleased and touched to receive a copy of Supporting a Child Through Bereavement and Beyond. We have been giving a lot of thought to this issue and have had several deaths in our community that have affected children. We think the book is of a very high quality and chimes with our knowledge and ethos around bereavement.”
If you are a local school or community organisation interested in receiving a free copy of the book, ‘Supporting a Child Through Bereavement and Beyond’ please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The book is also available to read online at www.nevillefuneralservice.com