A ground breaking conference on child bereavement is being held in Gwent this week with a leading authority on the subject as the key speaker.
End of life charity St David’s Hospice Care, which is increasingly being called on to offer care and support for bereaved children and young people through its Unicorn Service, is staging the conference.
The Unicorn Conference: Bereavement and beyond is being held at the Parkway Hotel, Cwmbran, on Wednesday, (March 22). The conference will explore the key themes around supporting children and young people through family bereavement.
St David’s Hospice Care Chief Executive Emma Saysell said: “This is the first conference we’ve held on this sensitive and very important subject of child bereavement.
“We are very pleased to have attracted leading authorities on the subject to speak at the conference such as Professor Allan Kelleher, of the University of Bradford, who has written extensively on the human experience of dying and presentation from Winston’s Wish, the charity for bereaved children.
“We have some 120 delegates attending who are coming from throughout the area from diverse backgrounds such as social work, education and health and social care to consider the affects of bereavement specifically on children and young people.
“St David’s Hospice Care is increasingly becoming recognised as an authority in the area of pre and post child bereavement. We are being approached more and more to provide expert care and support in situations such as for example in a sudden death of an adult as the result of a traffic accident and the immediate and ongoing repercussions of this on bereaved children and young people.”
Emma said the charity was renowned for its expertise in pre bereavement care for children, when an outcome was known and its growing capability in post bereavement for children, and the affects of sudden death.
“Bereavement is becoming more widely recognised as a key issue with potentially significant and life changing impacts on children and young people. There is a necessity for specific support in certain explicit situations. It is a key area which will be fully discussed and fully explored during the conference.”
Among subjects covered by the one day conference will be grief and loss, a death in the family and how it can impact on the children, teenage bereavement and the consequences of not providing appropriate support.
Joining Emma Saysell as speakers at the conference will be Professor Allan Kelleher, retired assistant head teacher at St Cenydd Community School, Caerphilly, Maria Cook; Suzannah Phillips of Winston’s Wish and Elaine Robinson, of the Unicorn Service at St David’s Hospice Care.
It is anticipated that this, the first conference, will be followed by a series of similar events over the coming months staged by the leading Gwent charity.