Our work with children
Cruse supports thousands of children and young people each year, through our branches and special projects
It’s so important that bereaved children and young people have a voice and can talk about their grief. Through our work with children and young people we are working hard to give them that opportunity. Read on for just two examples of how we did that in 2022.
Making memories – past and future
Cruse in Wales has been working with the Museum of Wales and other partners to help bereaved children remember their loved ones in some very different ways – using a mixture of traditional methods and the latest technology.
We’ve been holding Bereavement Support Days four times a year in partnership with St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life, for children, young people and their families experiencing grief and loss. There’s specialist support from Cruse staff and volunteers along with art and craft activities provided by Head for Arts for the museum, and immersive Virtual Reality experiences provided by PlayFrame. Children and families can make and create things that can be taken home with them or captured and stored in a virtual memory box.
Previously we also worked with the museum to create a ‘patchwork of memories’. Those taking part each created a square patch containing a memory of a loved one, in whichever way people chose, in whatever words or images they liked. More than 50 patches were sent to the Museum and carefully sewn together to form a Patchwork of Memories. The quilt was displayed in St Fagans in September last year.
'I feel calmer, less worried. It was good being able to speak to people my age who understood what I'm going through.'
'I was very welcomed and was immediately approached by a friendly face. It was very inviting and was easy to speak to people there.'
Children’s Grief Awareness Week
We’re proud to support Children’s Grief Awareness Week in November every year. The week is a chance to highlight how many children and young people have faced the death of a loved one. It’s designed to raise awareness of bereaved children and young people and how important it is that bereavement support is available for them.
To mark the start of week in November 2022, staff and members of the Youth Advisory Group for the Somewhere For Us Project, which is part of Cruse Bereavement Support in Northern Ireland, paid a special visit to the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in the Belfast City Hall on Thursday, 17 November.
Belfast City Hall was also lit up purple to highlight the start of Children’s Grief Awareness Week and mark the visit to the Mayor’s Parlour.
“The young people being engaged in peer support was amazing. The fact they wanted to use their experiences to help others I found really heartening. I can’t imagine being able to express grief as a child, or process it, it’s hard enough for an adult. The ways the Somewhere For Us project helps to explore it and allows children to express feelings at their own pace and trains others to be able too is phenomenal.”
“When I first joined I was very apprehensive. I wanted to be alone and figure it out myself. But the more times I went, the more I realised that these people knew how I felt and actually wanted to help. It still amazes me how much better I felt each time I went. I fell into a dark pit at the start and these strangers/friends helped me climb out of it. So yeah it is a good idea to ask for help. It might be scary but you will feel a lot better once you do and a lot of weight will be taken off your shoulders.”