The Duke of Cambridge has been Royal Patron of Child Bereavement UK since 2009, a charity which supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
While at the Stratford site, Their Royal Highnesses met bereaved families and children who have been supported by Child Bereavement UK in London and attended one of the charity’s Family Support Group sessions for children aged 4-12. These groups, facilitated by Child Bereavement UK’s bereavement support practitioners and trained volunteers, give children, their parents, and carers, the opportunity to meet other bereaved families and to explore the themes of memories, feelings, support networks and resilience. These sessions can help to decrease their sense of being alone and feeling ‘different’ when someone important in their lives has died.
Flowers were presented to the Duchess by Shinobi, aged 12, who was supported by Child Bereavement UK after the death of his grandmother.
Their Royal Highnesses were also introduced to local professionals, volunteers and charity staff and met with funders of Child Bereavement UK’s London services, which include a small dedicated service in West London for parents bereaved of a baby or a child, as well as the centre in Stratford. These have been made possible as a result of the support of many funders including: The Peter Cundill Foundation; The Hon M.J. Samuel Charitable Trust; City Bridge Trust; Gina Levett; and others who wish to remain anonymous.
The Duke and Duchess concluded their visit by marking the first anniversary of the opening of the charity’s Centre in Stratford.
Ann Chalmers, Chief Executive of Child Bereavement UK said:
“The Duke takes a keen interest in our work of supporting bereaved families and training the many professionals whose work brings them into contact with grieving children, young people and parents, helping them to better understand and meet the needs of grieving families.
“We are honoured to have The Duke and Duchess visit our bereavemement service in East London, which opened a year ago in Newham in response to the great need for bereavement support in this area.
“It is a privilege to have The Duke of Cambridge lend his support to our work; his involvement has made a huge, positive difference to Child Bereavement UK, helping to shine a spotlight on the needs of the many families in this country who experience child bereavement every year.”
For more information on Child Bereavement UK visit their website.