Your bereavement questions answered

Have confidence in your bereavement care

Many of our referrals come from professionals involved with a child, including teachers, social workers, or their GP.

We welcome referrals from any professional who feels a child in their care needs specialist bereavement support.

We also welcome your questions and queries, about how to help children in the early stages of grief, what’s usual, not usual behaviour, language to use, what to say, what not to say, expectations, resources, coping strategies, and signposting too.

Feedback from nursery schools that have taken part in our training

The training gave me confidence in my own abilities to help others and to help support a child who is bereaved.

It made me think about my own emotions as well as the child.

It’s nice to talk about how you feel and you can be yourself.

You’re not forced to do anything you don’t want to. You can do as much or as little as you like without being judged.

I was worried I wouldn’t know what to say or do and may cause more distress, but today’s training has given me the confidence to be able to be alongside the child now.

Feedback from primary schools that have taken part in our training

Holding On Letting Go was responsive to our needs as a school, to help us support a class of children that were struggling with the death of a classmate.

The children were always keen and excited to work with the team and eager to share what they had been doing. Being able to talk about how they felt benefitted them.

The team also provided us with a report of the work carried out that could be shared with our Ofsted inspectors.

One-to-one support has also been offered where group work would be too much to cope with.

The Holding On Letting Go team was very knowledgeable about how best to support our students and staff members following the very sad and unexpected death of one of our pupils.

They were able to come in and support the class over a number of weeks, giving them opportunities to talk about their thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories of their friend.

They also offered a support/debrief session for staff to be able to talk about the impact of the pupil’s death on them and on the school community as a whole.

We were also able to signpost families who needed extra support, into their service.

A close working relationship has developed between our school and Holding on Letting Go. The charity has been able to come into school and work with several children, all on an individual basis, helping pupils that are facing bereavement or those who have suffered a bereavement.

They have come into school and delivered a programme of training to school staff around how to support grieving children in the classroom. This was particularly helpful when we were trying to support pupils during the pandemic. Following on from the training session, they were also able to support us with the development of our school bereavement policy and procedures which helps to give us the framework in place should we need to access it again in the future.

Feedback from professionals that have taken part in our training

Primary Schools

The Holding On Letting Go team came onto our radar after the death of a student on the school premises. They were immediately responsive to our needs and were able to offer support and guidance. Within a short period, a class support group was set up for students who needed help following the loss of their friend. Advice was also given around staff support for teachers affected by the trauma.

Feedback from a Fostering agency and fostering social work team that have taken part in our Three-day training course

We approached HOLG as a local provision with the expertise that our team needed to help us broaden our skills and knowledge around supporting children, young people and their families when facing a loss or a bereavement, especially when social service are involved and children are likely to be placed into foster care either pre or post a bereavement.

We are a large team and they were able to accommodate us all for a three-day training programme spread over a number of weeks.
The programme was very thoughtfully put together, with lots of resources and strategies of how to look after grieving children we are working with or living with and also looking after ourselves whilst in that delicate role of supporting others at a most difficult time in their life.

Scenario work carried out in small groups using real-life stories really gave us a true insight into how children and young people feel and cope when faced with a bereavement or have been suddenly placed in social care due to a bereavement. It was a real eye-opener.

Since the training, we have made a number of referrals to HOLG, knowing that children will get the help and support they need.