Winston's Wish

Winston's Wish Children's Bereavement Charity Logo
Registered Charity Number 1061359

Every year, tens of thousands of children and young people are left devastated and bewildered after the death of a parent. This can be one of the most painful and isolating experiences a child may ever have to face, at a critical time in their emotional development.

 The festive season can be a particularly difficult time of year for grieving children. This year will bring additional challenges with many children facing Christmas without their mum or dad for the first time as a direct result of the corona virus.

Without support, a bereavement in childhood can lead to negative consequences such as relationship and behavioural difficulties, poorer physical and mental health, and poorer academic outcomes.  Around one child in every classroom will have been bereaved of a parent or sibling at some point in their childhood, and roughly 45,000 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling each year.

For over 28 years Winston’s Wish has been helping children, young people and families to rebuild their lives after the death of a parent or sibling, enabling them to face the future with confidence and hope.  We provide vital support services via a Freephone SupportLine, online and digital support services, a family support service, drop-in clinics, training and publications.

We rely almost entirely on donations to raise the £2.5 million needed to run our services. 

Grief can destroy a child’s future, but with your help, Winston’s Wish can ensure that it doesn’t.

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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.

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