Winston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK, is appealing for supporters to vote for the charity in the AVIVA Community Fund.

Winston’s Wish hopes to supply all Greater Manchester Schools (810 in total) with a vital bereavement resource pack of publications, potentially benefitting up to 4,000 bereaved children. The pack includes various publications, story books and practical guidance on how to support bereaved children of different ages.

Winston’s Wish supports over 30,000 bereaved children a year with a range of specialist programmes, and this resource reflects the charity’s practical support in dealing with death through illness, accident or suicide.

Thanks to funding from Wigan Council, Winston’s Wish has already sent packs to schools in where the resources have made a positive impact in supporting teachers. Wendy Hilton, Head Teacher at Castlehill St Philips School in Wigan, said:

“We were fortunate to receive these materials from Winston’s Wish to support the work that we do with our families in school. These materials were made available to us from a grant awarded to Winston’s Wish. Please help us to get these materials out to all schools in Greater Manchester by voting for Winston’s Wish!”

All support packs are backed up by the Winston’s Wish Helpline and local drop-ins, where teachers, parents and carers can access more in-depth support. If a child is struggling, Winston’s Wish can take a referral for therapeutic services and can provide face to face support to a child and their family with specialist Practitioners.

Rebekah Lawson, Winston’s Wish Family Services Team Leader in the North West, added:

“Please vote for our project so that all schools in Greater Manchester have direct access to Winston’s Wish therapeutic services for their pupils – and all teachers have the resources they need to help students in their classrooms. After seeing the success in Wigan we’re extremely keen to roll it out to Greater Manchester. We want to ensure that no bereaved child is overlooked. It’s a simple process to register and you each have 10 votes – we would love for you to use them all for Winston’s Wish!”

The death of a mum, dad or sibling is one of the most fundamental losses a child will ever face and Winston’s Wish know that the right support at the right time can enable bereaved young people to live with their grief and build positive futures with confidence and hope.

In other parts of the UK where Winston’s Wish is well established, the impact of their therapeutic support includes an overall stress reduction of 38%; a reduction in behavioural difficulties of 50% and a 40% reduction of the risk of developing a mental health problem.

Votes can be cast at this link and voting closes on the 30th May – voting is open to all.