Brake offers insight into bereavement

Road safety charity Brake has issued a back-to-school reminder for educators to attend important child bereavement seminars

Time is running out for educators to book their place on to a child bereavement seminar being run by Brake, the road safety charity. The charity is running two training days for anyone who works with children, to help them build on their understanding of how children and young people experience and express grief, and develop skills to support children and young people through their bereavement.

The ‘Supporting Suddenly Bereaved Children and Young People’ seminars are run by Sudden, an initiative by Brake, and provide a vital insight into how children and young people can be helped through the shock and grief of a sudden loss.

Attendees will hear from a bereaved volunteer, who will talk about what impact their child’s death had on their other children and what support they got from their schools.

The events are already proving popular with schools, colleges, universities, counsellors, pastoral care teams, support workers and chaplains.

The seminars, sponsored by Slater & Gordon Lawyers, will take place in Manchester on Tuesday 21 October 2014 and London on Thursday 27 November 2014.

Speakers and topics announced so far include:

  • Stephen Regel, director of Centre for Trauma, Resilience and Growth, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (Manchester seminar only): how understanding of death and effects of bereavement change at different ages
  • Erica Brown, research fellow in Children’s Palliative Care, Coventry University (London seminar only): how children and young people grieve: an academic overview
  • Leanne Jones, senior bereavement support worker, Child Bereavement UK (Manchester seminar only: practical advice on supporting suddenly bereaved children and young people in schools
  • Rebekah Lawson, family services team lead, Winston’s Wish (Manchester seminar only): supporting bereaved children with special educational needs
  • Louise Macrae, support service manager, Brake: support for bereaved families following a road death
  • Fentons Solicitors: legal and financial support for families following a sudden death
  • Brake bereaved volunteers

Attendance is £71 + VAT or just £51 + VAT when booking five places or more.
Book online, call +44 (0)1484 559909, or email

Ellie Pearson, Brake’s senior professional engagement officer, says: ‘Sudden bereavement is a horror that many children and young people have to face, and one that can have catastrophic consequences, particularly if they don’t get the support they need. If properly prepared and informed, educators and support professionals can play a vital role in making sure bereaved children are well supported through the shock and grief. I would encourage anyone who works with children or young people to attend one of our seminars and learn from experts and practitioners about providing support during this emotional time.”

Deborah Johnson, principal lawyer and national head of road collision at Slater & Gordon Lawyers and Brake trustee, says: “As a lawyer specialising in representing bereaved families, I am all too aware of how the death of a loved one can affect a child. It is all too easy for them to get forgotten when there is so much else going on, making everything even more bewildering and frightening. This seminar brings together not only different experts and specialists working in the field but also those who are brave enough to share their own very personal experiences with the aim of making sure that bereaved children get the best possible support as they try and come to terms with what has happened to them and move forward towards a brighter future. I am proud that Slater and Gordon are supporting these two very important days.”

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