Support for bereaved children

19 March 2015 , by The Co-operative Funeralcare

The Co-operative Funeralcare has today (19 March) launched a series of short animated films aimed at helping bereaved children to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Teaming up with Child Bereavement, Trauma and Emotional Wellbeing Service (CHUMS), The Co-operative Funeralcare will offer the films as a free resource to local schools, medical professionals, community groups and bereaved families. The four animated films include ‘Our Year Since Dad Died’ and ‘Our Year Since Gran Died’ and look at issues young people face when losing a parent or grandparent.

The launch follows on from the success of The Co-operative Funeralcare’s Amy and Tom books, which were a tool for bereaved primary school children and distributed free to over 25,000 family liaison officers, schools, bereaved families and medical professionals across the country.

Bereavement is a difficult subject for many and the reality is that in the UK a parent of a dependent child will die every 22 minutes, leaving 41,000 children without a parent each year. In addition to this, currently in the UK 309,000 children aged between five and 16 years old have been bereaved of a parent or sibling* and for many children the loss of a grandparent is their first experience of loss.

David Collingwood, Operations Director for The Co-operative Funeralcare said: “Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult and upsetting for anyone and can be even more confusing for a child. It is a sad reality that so many children are bereaved each year and it is so important that people have the tools and the guidance to help and support children and young people in opening up and dealing with their grief.”

“We want to reach out and support local bereaved families across the UK as much as we possibly can. Our colleagues are highly experienced at supporting bereaved families during their time of loss and these short animated films are designed as an additional resource and are an extension of the service that we offer.”

Dawn Hewitt, Chief Executive Officer of CHUMS said: “We know that grief can feel overwhelming, confusing, painful and lonely. At CHUMS we offer a variety of interventions, in order to support children and young people in their grief when someone close to them has died. Through the medium of animation, the DVDs can help children and young people relate to their own experience and help them recognise that they are not on their own."

“Schools, community groups and specialised bereavement services such as CHUMS all play an important role in supporting bereaved children and young people. Support and resources such as the DVDs can make a profound difference, not only at the time of a child's loss but also for their long term emotional wellbeing and resilience."

The Co-operative Funeralcare is the only organisation in the UK to make the animated films available free of charge to key people and organisations in a position to support bereaved children such as teachers, medical professionals and community leaders.

The short animated films have been produced by The Angel Studio and are available for free on request from The Co-operative Funeralcare.

To view a short preview of the DVDs please visit:

*Research was conducted by the Child Bereavement Network in October 2014.