This Children’s Grief Awareness Week (15th-21st November), St Oswald’s Hospice is raising awareness of the special ways they support children who have been affected by the death of a loved one.

1 in 29 school age children in the UK have been bereaved of a parent or sibling – that’s around one in every classroom.

Within St Oswald’s Bereavement Team, Children in Need funds a Bereavement Support Worker who helps young people to cope with the death of a loved one.

Ryan and Josh, both 11 and from Northumberland, lost a dad and grandad to cancer. Thanks to the child bereavement service at St Oswald’s Hospice, the two friends have learnt to talk about the death of their loved ones. Ryan and Josh explain how the bereavement service for children at St Oswald’s has helped them.

Ryan said:

“It’s not easy losing a Dad at the age of 10. The day he died I got so angry, I just lost all feelings for anybody. I stopped playing football for a couple of weeks and I stopped going to school because I physically couldn’t get out of bed.

“Coming to St Oswald’s has helped a lot, I honestly don’t know where I’d be without the support, I’d probably just be sitting in the house crying.”

Josh added:

“Sometimes it gets you down and it affects you, the whole day you don’t want to do anything. I feel a lot better since coming to St Oswald’s because I feel like I can talk to somebody.”

Beth Gregan, who leads on bereavement support for children and young people at St Oswald’s Hospice and is funded by BBC Children in Need, said:

“Very often bereaved children feel as if no-one understands what they are going through. At St Oswald’s we make our support available to these children so they can talk about how the feel, and often realise they aren’t the only one going through the death of a loved one.

“Being able to help those people who feel stuck and are every day thinking ‘I don’t know what to do right now’ is just the most amazing job in the world.”

To find out more about St Oswald’s, and their bereavement service, please visit www.stoswaldsuk.org.

More information about Children’s Grief Awareness Week at www.childrensgriefawarenessweek.com