Guest Blog: Winston’s Wish
Welcome to our first ever Guest Blog! At Scotty’s Little Soldiers we provide access to a wide range of help and assistance for bereaved Forces children & young people. Our SUPPORT programme is a huge part of this and includes access to bereavement counselling provided by our friends at Winston’s Wish and funded by Help for Heroes. We asked Dom from Winston’s Wish to tell us more about the work they do with bereaved Forces families…
Hi, I’m Dom. This is me sat with some of the young people I’ve supported at Winston’s Wish.
Part of my job at Winston’s Wish involves meeting with children, young people and their families after someone in their family has died.
The person in the family that died could have died through an accident or an illness. They could have been killed while in action, while on R&R (rest and recuperation) or in training. We also support families when someone has ended their own life, leaving behind family that miss them.
When someone dies, we can be left with a range of thoughts, feelings and questions. At Winston’s Wish, we know that it can be helpful to share those thoughts and feelings and work through some of the questions that young people and adults have.
Families often appreciate spending time with us thinking about family and memories of the person that died, this can involve laughter and, sometimes, tears – and that is ok. We think it is important that everyone has a truthful account of what happened when someone dies, so we dedicate time for families to share their account of what happened. Some families can find this difficult, of course, but many say it is a very cathartic experience. We help families explore different ways of coping with grief and spend time thinking about people, places and things that might help them manage their grief.
How we support
The Helpline: This is free to call for anyone across the UK whenever you have a question or idea that you would like to talk through relating to your family’s bereavement.
Key worker: Once you have been in touch with Winston’s Wish to make a referral, you will be allocated what we call a ‘keyworker’. This is a friendly member of our family services team whose job it is to introduce themselves to you and provide free, non-judgemental therapeutic support. This support can be offered over the phone, by email and face to face, like at our family meetings.
Family meetings: We can offer therapeutic family meetings that are aimed to help families talk about their experiences together.
Groups: We run therapeutic groups throughout the year where adults and children can meet other families to share their experiences and thoughts of coping with bereavement.
Get in touch
If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone about the support that we offer you can either:
- Call our National Freephone Helpline on 08088 020 021 to chat to someone from Winston’s Wish – (open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
- Members of Scotty’s can ask for us to get in touch with you by filling in the form here. Scotty’s will then pass this info to us at Winston’s Wish.
The support that Winston’s Wish offers to bereaved families with a connection to the armed forces is funded by Help for Heroes.