Bereavement charities partner to provide full circle support

November 2023

This Children’s Grief Awareness Week (16-22 Nov 2023), we are thrilled to announce an exciting partnership between the child bereavement charity Winston’s Wish and the national membership organisation WAY Widowed and Young, which supports people across the UK who have been widowed before their 51st birthday.

A recent poll of WAY’s members with children – which make up 70% of the charity’s 4,700+ members – revealed that four out of five bereaved parents didn’t feel they were able to provide enough support for their grieving child.*

Together, WAY and Winston’s Wish are partnering to provide full circle support for the whole family following a bereavement. As well as referring bereaved families to each other’s services, the two charities will be joining forces to provide tips and advice to offer help for the parents they support and their children.

The charities will also partner on campaign and policy work, advocating for improved services and experiences of bereaved families both now and in the future. 

“Grief can be a complex and isolating experience, impacting every member of the family differently,”

said Fergus Crow, CEO of Winston’s Wish. “When a parent dies the emotional and practical challenges of grief can often be overwhelming for children. At the same time, surviving parents face their own difficulties as they attempt to deal with their own grief for their partner whilst also supporting their bereaved child.”

“We hope this partnership between Winston’s Wish and WAY will help to provide a valuable source of mutual support for bereaved parents and their children to help them navigate their grief.,” he said.

“We are thrilled to be entering into this partnership with Winston’s Wish,” said WAY’s Chief Executive Stephanie Patrick.

“The partnership between our two organisations is built on the foundation that a parent’s well-being is intrinsically linked to their ability to provide effective support to their bereaved child.”

About the full circle partnership 

Through the peer-to-peer support services offered by WAY, parents are given their own outlet and community to deal with their grief, which in turn helps to create a more stable and nurturing environment for their children. 

In turn the services offered by Winston’s Wish, which help children and young people (up to the age of 25) find ways to cope with grief, offer parents the comfort and assurance that their child is being supported to express their feelings in a safe space.

The charities will commit to be one another’s preferred provider of services to offer a full and connected circle of bereavement support to parents and their children. 

 *A poll of WAY members with children carried out in November 2023, with 384 respondents.

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To mark the full circle partnership between WAY and the child bereavement charity Winston’s Wish, we talk to WAY’s National Volunteer Manager Veronica, whose husband Wullie died unexpectedly from a heart attack seven years ago, and her daughter Becca, now 18, who is a Youth Ambassador for Winston’s Wish. They unpick their different experiences as a bereaved parent and child – and offer their advice to others navigating the same challenging path…