Croydon seminars focus on child bereavement in a school setting
A total of 250 teachers, police family liaison officers, social workers and associated care professionals attended two days of seminars held at Croydon’s Jurys Inn Hotel Croydon hosted free of charge by the Rowland Brothers Foundation. The seminars marked the national Dying Matters Awareness Week organised by the National Council for Palliative Care.
The first day was devoted to generic issues of bereavement, under the leadership of the internationally famed grief specialist Dr Bill Webster, from Canada. He particularly covered the taboos surrounding death, offering, among other things, advice on the language used in this context.
The second day’s seminars were devoted to the grief suffered by bereaved children, and its impact in a school setting. The seminar leaders offered advice to teachers on how to recognise signs of grief in their pupils and offer appropriate care.
The leaders were Sheila Elliott, of the highly respected Winston’s Wish charity, and Mary Clair Kelly, a skilled Integrated psychotherapeutic counsellor who provides therapy for children from a variety of backgrounds in private practice and as a school counsellor at a state-run boarding school just outside Croydon.
The event also launched a new initiative from Rowland Brothers Foundation – a project whereby the company’s charitable foundation will send child bereavement specialists free of charge into any Croydon school which requests training in caring for bereaved children, or helping pupils cope with the death of one of their classmates.
The awareness week each year emphasises the need for everyone to take part in the ‘big conversation’ about the need to plan for one’s end of life – the need to have a will in place, to specify one’s funeral wishes and finance them where possible. Those attending were advised to go to www.rowlandbrothers.com for further information.
Both of this year’s seminars attracted appreciative capacity audiences of social workers, care workers, clergy, voluntary church workers, bereavement counsellors, teachers and Family Liaison Officers from the Metropolitan police, their certificated attendance counting as part of their professional studies and training.
The seminars were introduced by Steve Rowland, Managing Director of the Rowland Brothers Foundation.