UK childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish is reminding bereaved young people that its services will remain open during the summer holidays.
With many service users hailing from Scotland and at a time of the year when many are making plans and enjoying the summer break, Winston’s Wish continues to support grieving youngsters who may find the break in routine from school, college or University particularly challenging.
Henri, 20, shared her experience after her Mum died, “For the weeks of my school summer holiday that I had left after she died, I spent them watching TV all day with my brother, watching our favourite childhood show on repeat. I remember sitting watching TV all day and focusing on that and not thinking about what had happened or how my life is going to change or what is going to happen to me.
“I got invited to a girl from my school’s party at the end of the holidays, I remember feeling uncomfortable and thinking, ‘This is how my life is going to be, people feeling sorry and pity for me.’ Everyone’s mums were at the party and my Dad was the only dad there. This was the first time I experienced realising my Mum wasn’t going to be here for things that happen in my life.
“I knew that no one would understand that me seeing my Dad be the only one there with everyone else’s mums would upset me. This shows that no one will ever understand what can trigger emotions relating to someone’s personal grief process unless they have experienced it themselves.”
UK-based childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish has been supporting children and young adults up to the age of 25 and the adults assisting them, for more than 30 years.
Estimates suggest that each day, more than 100 children in the UK are bereaved of a parent and that figure doesn’t equate how many young people are coping with the death of a sibling, grandparent, friend or another significant individual in their lives. Over the course of the six-week summer holidays, countless children and young adults could be facing a new bereavement or dealing with the ongoing challenges of coping with the death of a loved one.
The charity, which supported in excess of 60,000 young people last year*, is urging young people to reach out if they find themselves struggling with their grief this summer using one of their free on-demand services.
Children, young adults and parents or carers can also access a wealth of help and support including online content, advice and personal experiences on the Winston’s Wish website and social media channels in addition to talking to someone on the live chat and phone helpline. Children aged 13 and older are welcome to themselves reach out for support via these helplines.
Winston’s Wish CEO Fergus Crow comments, “For many children and young adults, the summer break is a chance to enjoy time away from school or college and to spend time with their friends and family relaxing and having fun.
“But for grieving children and young people, the reality may be very different. We know the long weeks of the summer holidays can seem like a real challenge and coping with grief after the death of someone close can feel overwhelming.
“But whilst schools and colleges may be closing their doors until September, Winston’s Wish will be here all through the summer so that no child or young person has to face their grief alone at this or any other time of the year.”
Young people and their families are welcome to chat online, email or call for free to speak to a bereavement support worker by calling 08088 020 021, emailing email@example.com or using the live chat at winstonswish.org.