ST GILES HOSPICE HELPS SCHOOL STAFF TO SUPPORT STUDENTS
A Sutton Coldfield school has been leading the way in training teaching staff from 14 schools to help students cope with the terrible loss of bereavement, writes Bill McCarthy.
Teachers from across Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield and Tamworth have received vital training to help young people facing loss and living with bereavement.
Phoenix, the children and young people’s bereavement service for St Giles Hospice, has been working with staff from schools from the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), which include Arthur Terry School, John Willmott School, Stockland Green School, Brookvale Primary School, Curdworth Primary School, Hill West Primary School, Mere Green Primary School and Slade Primary School in Birmingham.
The session covered the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on young people as well as issues around bereavement and facing loss.
Sue Bailey, Assistant Head at Arthur Terry, said: “We are very much aware that many families within our community of schools have lost loved ones during these difficult times.
“Our aim as a partnership is to offer as much support to these families as we can and the training we received from St Giles will further enable our staff to do this.
“The training was of a very high quality and left us feeling better equipped to support families and also how to access the expert support available from St Giles.
We look forward to further partnership working and would recommend this training to others.”
Phoenix lead Jodie Phillips said the right support in schools for young people who had experienced the death of someone close to them was essential, particularly in the current circumstances.
“Schools can be a safe space for young people, providing normality and consistency at times of extreme pressure and change, which is often the case when someone dies,” she said.
“Working with ATLP to help their staff to support young people facing the death of a loved one or living with that loss is an important part of creating a safety net for those young people.
“Given the right support, most grieving children and young people will not need professional help, but what they do need is the care of adults they trust who are familiar to them such as a teacher.”
The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership is a growing multi-academy trust of 14 schools and one teaching school in Birmingham, North Warwickshire and Staffordshire.
Phoenix offers support for any child or young person under the age of 18 who is facing loss or who has been bereaved, in the St Giles Hospice catchment area.
Referrals can come from parents, teachers, healthcare professionals or young people. To find out more, please call 01543 434536.