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Project information

Grief Support Project - Family Groups

We support children and young people who have lost a loved one, such as a parent, sibling or significant adult. We run six-week Family Groups at local venues, bringing together bereaved families, helping them to develop strategies for moving forward with their lives.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Jigsaw (South East)

Jigsaw (South East) logo
  • Need


    The death of a parent or close relative can be devastating for a child and have a big impact on their life in both the short and long term. They can experience profound grief, anger, anxiety, a loss of confidence and feel isolated. The bereaved family can suffer from a break down in communication as no-one wants to talk about the death for fear of upsetting others. Longer tem, they are more likely to suffer mental health problems and engage in high risk activities such as drug/alcohol abuse.


    Our Family Groups bring together bereaved young people who have all experienced the death of a loved one. They realise that they are not alone and feel less isolated. The Family Groups help them understand what has happened, handle their emotions, develop coping strategies and learn how to communicate about their loss. The families find that they can now talk about the person that has died and share positive memories - this rebuilds family relationships that have often deteriorated.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve the emotional well-being of bereaved children and young people.


    » Run Family Groups for up to ten families at each group, taking them through structured activities to give them strategies for moving forward.
    » Stay in touch with the young people after the Family Groups, and provide ongoing opportunities for bereaved young people to meet up.

    What success will look like

    By analysing the feedback questionnaires completed at the end of the Family Groups.
    From other feedback given by the young people after the Groups eg emails and letters

    Aim 2

    To reach as many young people who would benefit from our Family Groups as we can.


    » To publicise what we offer through local media opportunities
    » To advertise our service to local schools, social care professionals and other relevant organisations.

    What success will look like

    By maximising attendance at each of our Family Groups - up to ten families.
    By an increase in referrals from families who might initially have been reluctant to seek support.

  • Impact


    The children and young people will have developed coping strategies that will help them long term into adulthood. They will be more resilient and much less likely to engage in the high risk behaviours that some bereaved young people who do not seek support take part in. We stay in touch with all families who attend our Groups, inviting them to events, often over many years. and they tell us verbally and in writing that the support we gave them made a significant long term difference.


    Occasionally, a young person may not be suitable for our usual format for the Family Groups. We can adapt the format of the Groups with additional 1:1 resources or suggest appropriate 1:1 support instead of the Groups.

    The dynamics of those at the Groups might lead to some young people not deriving maximum benefit from them. We can adapt the format as we go through the weeks to accommodate this.


    By issuing a dedicated update report in newsletter format by email at the end of the project year. This will include how many children and young people we have supported, comments that they have made and photos, where we have consent and where it is appropriate. We will also update via social media

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £6,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,250 Venue Hire Holding four Family Groups for up to ten local families each
      £2,250 Group resources Equipment, booklets, candles, activites, refreshments
      £1,500 Planning and organisation Communicating with families, booking venues, buying and collating resources
  • Background


    We support children and young people across Surrey, parts of West Sussex and a small area of West Kent. Our Family Groups are held in different locations across the region so that they are easily accessible to families in our area. Family Groups are currently held in the Guildford/Woking area, Reigate and East Grinstead. The Grief Support Workers visit families in their homes before the Groups to ensure that they will get the maximum benefit.


    All those children and young people who attend the Groups. The age range of the young people we support is 5 -16, but we can include younger or older siblings if part of the bereaved family. The parent/carer who attends with them also benefits from the Groups, as shown by feedback given by them.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are now well established in the geographical area in which we operate and have built up a good reputation for helping bereaved families. We have excellent relationships with local schools, many of which are increasingly referring young people to us because they have seen the difference we have made with other pupils. We are the only child bereavement charity in our area to offer our six week Family Group programme.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nickey Price

    Operations Manager. She is trained in child bereavement and oversees the Family Group programme, making adjustments to it if needed.

    Grief Support Workers - 5 In Total

    They provide support to the families from the point of referral, give advice and prepare them for the Groups. They lead the Family Groups.


£30 pays for remembrance candles at one of our Family Groups

"the transformation of one of my daughters was amazing and I thank everyone for supporting us with that"

mother who attended a Family Group in Autumn 2016