The Charity is proud to announce that it has been chosen as one of a number of blue light charities to be supported by childhood bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish.
An annual grant to appointed charity partner Winston’s Wish enables Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support, which offers families a programme of comprehensive support by telephone, email and face-to-face with specialist practitioners.
The partnership means that families of firefighters who tragically lose their lives whilst on duty and as a consequence of their service are now eligible for this valuable support.
Winston’s Wish has been established for nearly 25 years and has particular experience of supporting families bereaved in traumatic circumstances.
Support for children, young people and their families is available now, even if the death occurred some time ago. To find out more about the support available, please go to the dedicated Winston’s Wish webpage www.winstonswish.org.uk/emergencyservices
Anyone wishing to get guidance on supporting a bereaved child or young person or to discuss a possible referral, is welcome to call the Winston’s Wish Freephone Helpline on 08088 020 021 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. There is also a lot of information and guidance available to read on the Winston’s Wish website www.winstonswish.org.uk.
Further information: Questions & Answers
What is Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support?
Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support offers a funded programme of comprehensive support to children, young people and their families via telephone, and face-to-face with specialist practitioners. There is also the option to meet other bereaved families in group settings.
Who is eligible for Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support?
Surviving family members of members of the English ambulance, fire, coastguard and police services and any volunteers under their direct control in air ambulance and search and rescue who are killed whilst on duty as a direct consequence of their service are eligible for Emergency Services Bereavement Support. Bereavement support can be offered to children and young people up to age 25 who have been affected by the death. The death must have occurred whilst on duty, that is on active service and as a direct consequence of their duties (i.e. not by natural causes or suicide).
Is Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support available now?
How can I access Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support?
The way to access guidance or bereavement support is via the Winston’s Wish Freephone Helpline – 08088 020 021 – between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Calls are free and confidential. If the Helpline is engaged or you are calling outside of opening hours, please leave a message on the answerphone including your contact details and we will call you back. We take calls from a wide range of people, whether from the bereaved family, or perhaps a friend or professional calling on behalf of a family. You can ask your service’s charity to call on your behalf if you prefer. Whoever calls will be able to discuss the circumstances and how the family is coping, with people with wide knowledge and expertise and who have up-to-date experience of supporting bereaved children and their families. They will collect some background details and if appropriate may either take a referral for support over the phone straight away, or arrange to get further advice from our team of bereavement support practitioners and call you back.
If the bereavement occurred some time ago, can we still access Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support?
As long as the circumstances of the bereavement fit the eligibility criteria for Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support, Winston’s Wish can offer the full programme of funded support.
Can Winston’s Wish still help me even if I don’t meet the eligibility criteria for Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support?
The Winston’s Wish Helpline is available for guidance and support to families following any kind of bereavement, so we can always help that way. We can also provide publications suitable to the circumstances. We may be able to take a referral for face-to-face support with our practitioners if you live near one of our regional bases in Gloucestershire, West Sussex or Greater Manchester. We also have good relationships with other charities in the child bereavement sector and can signpost to those closest to you.
I’m aged over 18. What kind of support can you offer me?
We welcome young people aged 18-25 as part of family meetings involving younger siblings and parents/carers to talk about the person who has died. If you prefer individual support, Winston’s Wish practitioners can offer 1:1 sessions by telephone or face-to-face. Our support focuses on remembering the person who has died, understanding what happened to them, understanding your support network and developing coping strategies.
Who is Winston’s Wish?
Winston’s Wish is a childhood bereavement charity, established in 1992. It offers a wide range of practical support and guidance to children, their families and professionals. Their aim is to help children who have been bereaved to lead full and flourishing lives. Winston’s Wish is the appointed charity partner providing Emergency Services Child Bereavement Support. They have specialist experience of supporting families bereaved in traumatic circumstances.
How is this service being funded?
Funding has been made available by grant to Winston’s Wish to provide bereavement support to Service Members. The Blue Lamp Foundation kindly donated funds to support the first year’s operational costs. The ongoing funding is the income generated from an Endowment granted to the emergency services by the Cabinet Office and managed by The Ambulance Services Charity.
Why was this funding put in place?
As part of the December 2013 Autumn Statement, it was announced by Government that over £8 million of LIBOR fines would be invested through voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in England to support emergency services personnel and their dependants who are injured, suffering ill-health, or bereaved, as a result of active service for the public. The Cabinet Office sought views and evidence on what the priorities should be for allocating funding. A rare, but tragic issue identified through the consultation processes was the risk of people dying while on active service. Support to bereaved families was identified as a priority area, with the potential to be enhanced, made available to more people across the emergency services and be made more sustainable. The funding now provided for specialist child bereavement support complements the variety of support already provided by VCSE organisations to emergency services families.