Project information

Good Grief Groups

1 in 20 children in the UK under 16 will suffer the death of a parent or sibling; support in this area is limited. Grief Encounter's innovative Good Grief Workshops will create accessible opportunities for bereaved children and young people to relieve suffering from their trauma of loss.

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information: Grief Encounter Project

Grief Encounter Project logo
  • Need


    Over 20,000 bereaved young people under 16 in the UK will experience the death of a parent or sibling, resulting in ‘emotional and psychological damage due to the trauma of loss’ (Gilbert, 2015). Society often leads to children left unable to externalise their feelings, and receive appropriate levels of support for their pain and trauma. Grief Encounter is unable to reach all the children that are in need of help, requiring further funding to create more opportunities to grieve positively.


    Grief Encounter will provide open access, specialist Good Grief workshops.Using therapeutic support, based on work with bereaved families, research and grief experiences, children will have the opportunity to meet others, grieve, remember together, and have fun. They will alleviate pain, isolation, psychological, behavioral and emotional issues that result from bereavement at a young age. With our direction and support, children & young people can lead more constructive less destructive lives.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Support: To provide children with coping strategies, skills, knowledge & understanding about grief


    » Good Grief Groups, offering families the opportunity to attend meetings to explore bereavement in a safe and structured environment.
    » Remembrance Workshops to help our families through milestone events, such as Mother's Day, meeting others in a safe yet relaxed environment.

    What success will look like

    The attendance for Good Grief workshops and family days, CORE YP evaluation , follow up evaluations with individual families and clinical staff and external research reviews.

    Aim 2

    Advice: To increase our reach to bereaved children and young people.


    » Initial helpline support to bereaved families when they experience bereavement, offer initial advice, introduce to our Family Programme and referral.

    What success will look like

    How many families have contacted us, what advice was sought and given and how many new clients registered.

    Aim 3

    Information: To improve access to information leading to families attending the groups


    » Provide specialist resources such as our Grief Encounter Workbook and Grief Relief Kits, and the opportunities to use and interact with them.

    What success will look like

    The resources sent out during the project time and feedback from the recipients if available.

  • Impact


    There will be more readily available direct and indirect support available to bereaved children, young people and their families, both from Grief Encounter themselves and for others nationwide. Success will be demonstrated not only by the increase in families we will be working with, but also by gathering valued feedback on our resources and workshops from the families and research. Children and young people will not have to carry their burdens and suffer alone.


    Risk one is there is no uptake for the workshops, but we are already building a list for next year. Risk two is lack of funding would mean that the numbers of workshops Grief Encounter can hold is restricted; forward thinking fundraising should ensure sustainability. Risk three may be that the interventions are ineffective; families are all assessed before and after interventions.Finally, the programme content is designed and reviewed by the clinical team and families.


    Personal contact and a visit will be encouraged.The outcomes of the Family Programme, including uptake on our workshops will appear in our Annual Review. In addition, our quarterly newsletter and award winning website will feature updates and outcomes, including feedback from the families.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £24,000 Good Grief Groups Holding 12 workshops annually
      £10,000 Remembrance Workshops Holding 4 remembrance days in January, March (Mothers day) June (Fathers Day) and November(Remember)
      £6,000 Helpline Initial contact and advice given, with enrolment in the family programme
  • Background


    Grief Encounter is based in North West London, but services are accessible to all in the local boroughs are further afield via school outreach programmes, and mobile units in London and Essex. Grief Encounter are currently in talk about a Satellite Office in Bristol, and all services are accessible online via our interactive website, and Skype capabilities. Socio-economic and demographic information is therefore varied.


    Over 100 Bereaved children and young people, their families and the people involved with them, in their own communities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Established in 2003 by Dr Shelley Gilbert MBE, Grief Encounter is one of the UK’s leading bereaved children's charities, providing free, pioneering, professional support to bereaved children, young people and their families. Grief Encounter makes a difference; we help families address a multitude of challenging issues following the death of a loved one, talking about death and helping children process their loss. We alleviate the hurt and confusion caused, whilst promoting healing.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Shelley Gilbert MBE

    Founder and CEO, with clinical responsibility.

    Stacey Hart

    Programme Manager, planning and running the Good Grief workshops and Remembrance Days

    Brenna Baker

    Programme Coordinator and Advice Counsellor, answering calls and identifying suitable families

    Sue Goodwin

    Family Liaison, coordinating the families