As the first charity to establish child bereavement support services in the UK, Winston's Wish continues to lead the way in providing specialist child bereavement support services, including in-depth therapeutic help in individual, group and residential settings.
Winston's Wish was established by Julie Stokes OBE, a clinical psychologist, in 1992 to meet the needs of bereaved children and their families. The idea took root when Julie visited the US and Canada on a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Having been inspired by the services she saw there, Julie returned to the UK to set up Winston’s Wish.
Claire is one parent to be helped: "After losing my husband I found there wasn't much local support available. Having five boys I found it increasingly difficult to find ways to support them as they were all dealing with their grief in different ways and at different stages.
"For a while we muddled through but life was hard, very stressful and at times unbearable. To watch my children full of sadness was heart-breaking! I felt I was failing them. Then I went to the Winston's Wish drop-in in Wigan. I felt instantly welcome and for the first time in a very long time there was a glimmer of hope for my family. I have met some lovely people. While the children are busy with their arts and crafts it's a time for parents, grandparents and others to chat, exchange ideas and thoughts and to be part of a group that understands your situation. It's a safe place to share your worries and concerns and reassuring to know that you’re not on your own."
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