The Childhood Bereavement Network estimate that in the current population of 5 – 16 year olds in England over 261,000 are bereaved of a parent or sibling*. They also estimate that every year in England over 19,000 under 18s are bereaved of a parent.
Over the years the awareness of the excellent support being given by the Family Support Team at Butterwick Hospice has become more widely recognised which has led to more and more referrals. One particular unmet need was identified following several requests for help. These came from schools in the County Durham area that had identified that a number of their children had been bereaved and were struggling.
Carol Iveson is an experienced counsellor who worked as a volunteer Family Support Worker with the Butterwick’s team at its Bishop Auckland Hospice for several years and when an opportunity arose for someone to look into how Butterwick’s Family Support Team could help she jumped at the chance.
Carol has now been employed in this specialist role for almost 3 years, working as a counsellor and School’s Liaison. Carol contacts schools in the County Durham area to offer help and support to children and training for teaching staff in loss and bereavement. Butterwick Hospice may not be able to influence the overall statistics for bereaved children in our area but we are working hard to introduce more support into schools for young people suffering the effects of losing a loved one.