Grief School: Childhood Bereavement

This Grief School panel discussion brings research experts together with people who lost a parent or other loved one as children. They discuss how this type of bereavement affected their lives and what support is now available for bereaved children in the UK.

The discussion is facilitated by Debbie Redfearn from Winston’s Wish, the UK’s childhood bereavement charity. Debbie has been part of the charity for five years, and in her role as a Bereavement Support Practitioner, she directly supports families as they navigate their journeys through grief. Debbie has a Diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling and is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Zoe Bassett, a Winston’s Wish’s Youth Ambassador, shares her perspective on how losing a parent at a young age can affect young children, both at the time and later in life. Her father died in an air accident when she was three years old.

They are joined by Dr Mimi Thebo, Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Bristol. Dr Thebo has been short-listed for many literary prizes and was nominated for the Carnegie medal in 2017 and 2018. She writes narratives for young people to help them recover from trauma.

We also welcome Dr Shelley Gilbert MBE, founder of the registered charity, Grief Encounter. Dr Gilbert lost her mother at four and her father at nine, and has gone on to set up Grief Encounter to provide guidance, information and support to bereaved children.