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supporting bereaved children & young people in school
The impact of bereavement on school-aged children can seriously affect their mental wellbeing and ability to access education. There is currently an increased emphasis on mental health and emotional wellbeing within education.
When asked what help children would like following the Stand-by-me groups they told us they did not want counselling but instead, want someone at school who knows their circumstances; someone who knows when times might be particularly difficult for them around anniversaries, Christmas and special days and someone who will check in with them and alert others when they are most vulnerable.
‘Contact-me’ offers a structure for schools to support students who experience the death of a significant person. All Contact-me schools have access to a dedicated e-mail helpline for staff, a twice-termly contact meeting with staff working with bereaved children, training in working with bereaved children and a manual which sets out what children and their families need following a bereavement.
The manual includes samples of letters to send out to parents/carers and young people when the school learns of a death within the family. Most importantly, it sets out how to manage the request from the children we spoke to when they have experienced the death of someone close to them: a named person who will help them at school when the going is tough and how to manage this safely within the school.
Thanks to generous support from Rotary Clubs of Hitchin, we have been able to offer Contact-me free of charge for schools signing up before the end of the 2018/19 academic year and we currently have more than 50 schools in North Herts and Stevenage who have signed up to the programme.
If you would like to find out more or are a school interested in signing up for Contact-me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org