Children and young people struggle when someone they love dies, but they often hide it away and can feel very alone. Touchstones helps them find a way through their loss and heartbreak. One to one support allows a sharing of their pain and any hidden feelings of guilt,confusion and anger. Our amazing adventure days, where they meet others like themselves, are transforming as they realise that they are not the only one. Above all, Touchstones helps them regain hope in themselves and their future.Why the community needs us
There are strong links between childhood bereavement and problems like teenage pregnancy, educational difficulties, mental illness and criminality. Youth Justice Board figures state that 41% of youths in court have had a major bereavement. However,this is not inevitable and well supported bereaved young people go on to do well and have rewarding lives. Sadly though, in trying to protect their grieving parents, children often hide their pain and so they need to find that vital support elsewhere.Our impact on the community
Parents and teachers all talk of transformed children, but the young people say it best themselves. "After mum died I was always angry and getting into fights at school. With Touchstones help I haven't got into a single fight since"(Jack 12)"When my dad killed himself I thought I was the only one and that it was my fault. Now I know thats not true and I can be OK"(Amy 11)"When mum died everything was black. Touchstones saved me"(Kaz 16)7 yr old Zac gave the Touchstones Day "a zillion" out of 10.
Volunteers run our Touchstones days when children and young people have the chance to meet each other, share their stories, have fun and realise they are not the only one. The days are held at the weekend. Experience in working with children and young people, as well as feeling able to handle this emotionally demanding work is important, but training will be provided.