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Project information

Funding the National Helpline

The Winston’s Wish National Helpline provides support, information and guidance to all those concerned about a bereaved child or young person. It is staffed by practitioners with extensive experience, who have up-to-date knowledge of supporting bereaved children and their families.

April 2013 - March 2014

Charity information: Winston's Wish

Winston's Wish logo
  • Need


    There are estimated to be just under half a million children up to the age of 18 living in the UK who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling. All of these children & young people will need the support, in some form, of an adult such as a parent, carer, teacher, social worker, doctor or police liaison officer

    Often, these adults find themselves in completely alien territory, often at a loss to know the best way to support the child or young person. Our Helpline gives this support.


    Our Helpline provides an invaluable resource for all adults faced with the daunting and difficult task of navigating a child’s grief. By helping the concerned adult making the call to feel more confident in their abilities to support a bereaved child, we will in turn enable the adult to better support the bereaved child or young person through their journey of grief.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide quality support and advice when it is needed most


    » A 20-minute call to a trained and experienced child bereavement practitioner can be a lifeline to a person struggling to know the best way to support

    What success will look like

    Success will be...seen in terms of achieving what the caller wants from the Helpline: Anonymity, immediacy and accessibility are the 3 key elements.

  • Impact


    Adults can find it difficult to talk with children about death, often because they are dealing with their own grief, but also because they are fearful of upsetting the child. Experience has shown us that when adults try to protect children by withholding information, the child will typically fill the gaps with their own vivid imaginations. With the correct adult support provided by the Helpline more bereaved children will be able to make sense of death and rebuild their lives.


    The key risk to this project is consistency of support given. This is overcome by the practitioners co-working to ensure quality and to aid sharing of experience and learning.


    Donors will be regularly reported to via e-bulletins, newsletters, via social media updates and face to face at our events, Christmas Gathering and Family fun day.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £31,800

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,800 Direct costs Line rental, telephone equipment
      £30,000 Staff Practical support and guidance by professionally qualified clinical practitioners
  • Background


    The Helpline is staffed at our Gloucestershire site, but offer support and guidance across the UK


    Last year the Helpline took 5,834 calls. These callers were from all over the UK and are typically from family members or friends seeking advice and guidance on how best to support a bereaved child. However, roughly 30% are from professionals such as teachers, social workers and doctors.

    In this, our 20th anniversary year we are aiming to support 30% more people than ever before and funding for the Helpline would help us achieve this.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Winston’s Wish is the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK - offering the widest range of practical support and guidance to bereaved children, their families and professionals.

    We are the only specialist national provider of support for children bereaved through murder, manslaughter, suicide or death by military conflict.

    With 20 years of experience and with this funding we feel we can extend our reach to even more people concerned about a bereaved child.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Helen Mackinnon

    Helen is Clinical Services Development Team Leader, and has the passion to continue our services and find more and better ways of doing things!