A major bereavement is hard enough for an adult, but it can be extremely frightening and confusing for a child:
• they too feel sadness, anger and pain, but may find it harder to understand and navigate their way through their many different emotions;
• the people best placed to support them, their family, are themselves grieving;
• their friends, who have had no experience of death, cannot fully understand what they are going through, increasing feelings of isolation.
It is no surprise then that about a third of bereaved children and young people experience severe difficulties. In some cases the death of a loved one happens in traumatic circumstances, such as accident, murder or suicide – which makes it even harder to cope.
SeeSaw’s aim is to give bereaved children in difficulty the support they need, so that they can move forward and face the future with hope. SeeSaw does this by providing:
• Rapid response to families’ requests for advice and support;
• Telephone advice for parents, carers and professionals;
• Dedicated, tailored one-to-one grief support to children where it is required;
• Family activity days; group work for children and adolescents; coffee mornings for parents;
• Pre-bereavement support for families when it is known that a parent is dying;
• Training for professionals such as teachers and nurses;
• A wide range of resources and literature for children and their families and any member of the community in need of information about grief support for children.
SeeSaw was established in 2000 when a group of health professionals identified the need for a support service specifically for children, as there was no co-ordinated provision for their needs in Oxfordshire. SeeSaw is not government funded and relies on donations from the local community, the corporate sector and charitable bodies in order keep their excellent service going.
registered charity number 1076321