Registered Charity Number 1061359
Winston’s Wish is a charity supporting grieving children and young adults when someone important to them has died or has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. We help them to find their feet when their worlds are turned upside down by grief.
Through our helpline, instant messenger service, individual and group bereavement support, and counselling, we help young people across the UK to process their grief and find ways to move forward with hope for a brighter future.
We also help adults who are caring for young grieving people including parents, school staff, police and health and social care professionals.
The death of somebody important in childhood can be the most traumatic experiences a child will ever have to face. It is a life-altering event, which can lead to devastating lifelong consequences, including physical and mental illness, social exclusion, criminal behaviour, unemployment and shortened life expectancy.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With the right support, given at the right time, and in the right way, bereaved children can grow around their grief and live happy and healthy lives. They have hope.
We would like to see a society where every child can get the help and support they need when someone close to them dies.
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More about Winston's Wish
Since being founded in 1992, Winston’s Wish has helped many thousands of bereaved children to live with their loss. The idea took root when clinical psychologist, Julie Stokes, visited the USA and Canada on a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship.
Inspired by the services she saw there, she returned to the UK and set up the charity. ‘Churchill’ quickly metamorphosed into ‘Winston’ – a bear – who became the mascot.
The charity believes that it is Winston’s ‘wish’ that every bereaved child should receive the help they need to cope with the death of someone important in their lives.
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 across the UK.
Last year the charity supported over 17,000 children and young people via a helpline, online chat and face to face sessions. Winston’s Wish are also incredibly proud to provide continued support to children who were bereaved by the recent tragedies of the Manchester Arena attack and the Grenfell Tower fire.
Winston’s Wish holds clear ambitions for the next four years. As well as playing a part in revolutionising open access child bereavement support, it aims to double the number of children and young people reached by 2022 whilst setting a course to support half of the bereaved children in the UK by 2027.
83% of the charity’s income comes from voluntary donations and it needs your support to meet these aims.