In 2015, Child Bereavement UK concluded a three year project (funded by the Department of Health) where we endeavoured to improve bereavement support in six areas across England that featured highly on the Index of Multiple Deprivation.

In each area, we established a Bereavement Advisory Group bringing together representation from Health, Education, Social Care, Voluntary Organisations and Bereaved Families. We also held study days and training opportunities in each area, and in some cases collaborated with other services to reach more bereaved children and families. A bereavement pathway – with reference to local and national services – was created for each area, along with information on the range of support needs that children and families may experience (with the acceptance that many bereaved individuals require only a modicum of support if they have an understanding family, school, workplace or social circle).

To date, Liverpool’s Bereavement Advisory Group continues to meet and has recently welcomed new members from ‘Love Jasmine’ and ‘Oakleaf’.

Calls to the Child Bereavement UK Helpline have increased, as have visits to our website from the Liverpool area. Most significantly, we have developed a strong working relationship with Education, culminating in Liverpool CCG funding a powerful booklet “A Whole School Approach to Supporting Loss and Bereavement” devised and created by two of our Advisory Group members. This book now sits in all Liverpool schools and the CCG and Local Authority also funded further training and resources for a number of schools, which is ongoing.

The Alder Centre – where our Bereavement Advisory Group often meets – is in the process of developing a new purpose-built centre on the site of Alder Hey hospital and it is hoped this will become a community hub for a range of bereavement support initiatives.