Residential weekends for bereaved children and young people
Winston's Wish offers a residential weekend for bereaved young people aged 6 to 18, that is both challenging and great fun.
Practical and creative activities encourage teamwork, building confidence and self-esteem. This sets the scene for the young people to begin sharing their own stories, to untangle and express a range of feelings, increase their knowledge about death and to continue their individual journeys towards understanding their grief.
Everyone learns that it is a valid part of grieving to feel sad or angry, and to cry or laugh while they are remembering.
At the residential weekends, young people work in small groups with others of a similar age alongside professional staff and highly trained volunteers. Children are given the opportunity to:
- share their individual stories with others in their small group
- gain information about what happened through a question-and-answer session with a doctor
- take special time to remember the person who has died
- explore safely some of the more challenging feelings and responses they may be experiencing
- develop ways of looking to the future
For parents and carers
A simultaneous (but non-residential) weekend for parents and carers runs parallel to the children’s residential at a different venue. This programme has a dual focus: firstly, on parents/carers own bereavement and secondly, on how to support their grieving children.
When families are reunited at the end of the two days they begin the process of sharing their experiences and responses to the weekend, which deepens communication within the family.
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