Covid-19 has recently shone a light on human nature, as the world has watched in recent times all of the responses to the pandemic which has swept the world and has posed some unprecedented challenges for individuals, communities and countries to deal with. And yet, despite the almost unfathomable scale of this issue, the stories of human endeavor, kindness, charity and hope have shone through and offered some solace during difficult times. However, we all know that it shouldn’t take a crisis to be considerate of others less fortunate than we may find ourselves. The importance of charity, philanthropy and community outreach are a constant.
The above is why Sandaire remains fully committed to doing all it can to support our chosen charities and over the course of this month will share information on each of our four chosen charities and some of the incredible work that they are undertaking at this time.
This week we shine a light on Grief Encounter.
Who are Grief Encounter?
Grief Encounter is one of the UK’s leading bereaved children charities, providing free, pioneering services and support to bereaved children, young people and their families.
‘1 in 29 children in the UK under the age of 16 will suffer the death of a parent.’Grief Encounter
This is a startling statistic and the reality that one child in every classroom in the UK will have experienced the loss of a parent or loved one. Outlining the real need for charities who support children, young people and their families.
Grief Encounter offers a flexible and accessible service, which aims to professionally care and respond to bereaved children, young people and their families via counselling, group activities, family fun days, residential camps and interactive online services. The confidential support they provide is from qualified bereavement therapists and counsellors and ranges from a supportive voice at the end of a phone, group activities and long-term one-to-one counselling and also a range of online electronic methods to extend the reach across the whole of the UK and ensures that this very important support is not limited by location.
Grief Encounter directly supports over 400 bereaved children, young people and their families every week and is reliant solely on donations. This does not include the thousands of other bereaved children and families who cannot access direct services, and who they support in other ways.
How has Covid-19 impacted Grief Encounter?
In late March we had to temporarily stop all Face-to-Face bereavement support, but our team of counsellors remain in touch with all of the families who need us via skype and the telephone. Anxiety levels of our bereaved children are at this time heightened. Having already experienced the death of one parent, the fear of their remaining parent catching this virus can be overwhelming. Our counsellors are working incredibly hard to accommodate each family to support them in the best way possible, in these unprecedented times.
Over the coming weeks and months, Covid-19 will continue to pose a big challenge to us: emotionally, financially and professionally. We need to make sure we are here to help the countless children and young people who will need support. Our helpline, GriefTalk, which facilitates calls, web chats and e-counselling, enables us to stay connected with anyone who is affected by grief during these challenging times. This includes front line professionals, to offer them advice on how to support families who have experienced a sudden loss but couldn’t be there to say goodbye, as well as the coping mechanisms for dealing with multiple patient deaths. We expect and are planning for our helpline to receive a huge uplift in calls over the coming months resulting in higher than normal expenditure on these critical services at a time when we are unable to help people face to face.Louise Scott, Head of Fundraising for Grief Encounter
We would like to offer our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Sandaire for their support. However, the biggest thank you to those who support Grief Encounter comes from the hundreds of bereaved children whose lives that they help to improve.