Cgaw logoChildren's Grief Awareness Week 2019 will run from 15-21 November with the theme Lost4Words.

The Week is a chance for us to come together to show our support for bereaved children across the UK. Organisations across the UK will be showing solidarity with grieving children, young people and their families in their community; raising awareness of their needs and how to help; and fundraising for their service.

We're delighted to be teaming up with Grief Encounter, our partners in the Life Matters Taskforce and member services across the UK to plan the Week.

The theme: Lost4Words

During the Week, we'll be encouraging the sharing of ideas on social media about how people can help grieving children and their families - even if they think they don't know what to say. This could be through practical help such as cooking a meal or helping out, doing something relaxing together, or finding other ways to communicate and support.

We also hope this will be a chance for our member services to showcase their work, for example

  • creative activities with grieving children and young people - where it doesn't matter if they feel Lost4Words because they can express themselves through art, music, drama and play
  • training for schools to help staff feel less Lost4Words when a pupil is grieving or the curriculum is covering topics of change, loss and bereavement
  • supportive work with families to help them communicate together and finds words again

If you are planning activity for the week, you can download the logo for your publicity here. In early October we'll be producing a media pack for local services to use as they gear up for the week.

Producing a resource together

We will be publishing a short e-book of suggestions from bereaved young people and those supporting them, about how other people can offer support even if they are feeling Lost4Words. We're inviting young people to share their story/suggestion with an emoji or emoticon that we can publish next to their advice - something that sums up their advice in a picture or a couple of pictures. If you know someone who would like to take part, please share the prompt questions below with them.

For Children’s Grief Awareness Week in November this year, the Childhood Bereavement Network and other organisations are trying to help children (and grown-ups) navigate grief when they feel lost for words.
Sometimes children tell us that they can’t describe how they feel. Sometimes adults tell us they can’t either. And sometimes when people don’t know what to say to someone who is grieving, they don’t say or do anything at all. We know that sometimes that can make things feel worse.
This year we want to share the words and feelings of people who have been there to help those who haven’t to understand. We are working with other organisations to publish an e-book of these words and feelings, and some of them will appear on social media and other publicity around Children’s Grief Awareness Week. If you are happy sharing your story to be used in this way, then please tell us the following (we may need to edit your story a bit)
  • What’s your first name and how old were you when the person important to you died? If we use your story, these will appear next to it: you can use another name if you don’t want us to use your real one
  • What was your relationship to this person?
  • What advice would you give to someone who is grieving? Can you sum up how you felt? Knowing what you know now, what would you have wanted to be able to do or say about your feelings when it first happened, and as time went on? For each response to each individual question, please also include an emoji that best sums up this advice or what you feel when you share these words.
  • What advice would you give to someone who doesn’t know how to help someone who is grieving? Can you remember what you really wanted people to do or say to help you? Is there anything that you would recommend people didn’t say to someone in a similar position? Again, for each response to each individual question please also include an emoji that best sums up this advice or what you feel when you share these words.

Please email your suggestions to the Childhood Bereavement Network by 17 September.

We are also producing an exciting new resource to improve support in schools to be launched during the Week. 

International Children's Grief Awareness Day

Cgad LogoThe Week will finish with Children’s Grief Awareness Day on 21 November, a global day designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the benefits they obtain through the support of others.

Initiated by the Highmark Caring Place in 2008, the Day is now supported by organisations across the US through the National Alliance for Grieving Children: CBN’s equivalent body there, and is spreading across the world. The day is always held on the Thursday before Thanksgiving in the US.