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News » July 2016

July 2016


Whilst promoting the issue of mental health, Prince Harry has commented that he regrets not opening up about the death of his mother, Princess Diana, when he was a child.

The prince commented, “It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It is not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and not solving that problem.”

“A lot of people think if you’ve got a job, if you’ve got financial security, if you’ve got a family, you’ve got a house, all that sort of stuff, everyone seems to think that is all you need and you are absolutely fine to deal with stuff,” he continued.

Talking with sporting personality Rio Ferdinand, whose wife died of cancer in 2015, Prince Harry opened up about the issues he has faced since Princess Diana died. The former England and Manchester United footballer, and father of three, said: “He’s gone through different stages in his life that my kids are going to be going towards. So to get some of his experiences is very rewarding for me and very educational in many ways.”

Dr Shelley Gilbert MBE, founder of leading UK bereavement charity Grief Encounter comments, “We are absolutely overjoyed that Prince Harry, for the first time, has been vocal about regretting his inability to talk about the death of his mother in his childhood. Not least because by him being open about this subject, he is giving bereaved children a mission to talk more openly about grief to friends, family, peers and carers. It’s not only about children ‘opening up’ and talking, but also about adults taking responsibility for listening. Hearing those thoughts and feelings are a major part of helping the grieving process, and allowing children to make sense of their grief. There are so many ways we can encourage children to talk about their grief, and at Grief Encounter to create opportunities for them to grieve in positive ways, in a safe and controlled environment.”

Shelley has commented on BBC Radio 5 Live, ITV News and LBC today, 25th July. Please visit our press pages for more information.

If you’re struggling to talk to a child about bereavement and are seeking advice, please call us on 0208 371 8455 or email support@griefencounter.org.uk

July 2016

al murray

Comedian Al Murray Supports Grief Encounter as New Patron

We are delighted to announce that critically acclaimed comedian Al Murray, has joined Grief Encounter as our new patron for 2016.

Having joined us as the face of ‪#‎FunnyEncounter‬, in association with Children’s Grief Awareness Week 2015, Al recognised the positive effects of humour in overcoming grief in children and young people; “As a father of two daughters, I do everything in my power to love and protect them, but one in 20 children suffers the unthinkable tragedy of losing a parent. I’ve admired the work that Grief Encounter does for a long time and now feel it’s my place to help raise awareness of what they do. They support children who have gone through the unimaginable, losing a parent or sibling, and they need our support in order to carry out their vital work with some of the UK’s most vulnerable children.”

Grief Encounter took 17 Families (41 Participants) on our Annual Fishing Trip generously donated to us. On a beautiful sunny day our families enjoyed a day of fishing, nature walks and ice creams to cool us down. Despite a family of ducks causing a bit of mischief (by gobbling up our bait) many fish were caught resulting in a wonderful trip.

We had our Summer Story Workshop with 9 Families (20 Participants). Our Adults and Young People’s groups all explored the story, “The Boy Who Built A Wall Around Himself”, which was then followed by our popular pizza dinner.

I would just like to say thank you very much. At bed time tonight I asked my son how his day was.

He replied. ‘I had a great time mummy. I feel like normal, you know all the kids were the same.’ This is a massive thing to us, so thank you for enabling him to so beautifully express himself. “

Mum who attended our Summer Story Workshop.