19th November 2020

UK Spoken Word stars, Hussain Manawer and Reeps One, have lent their support to leading children’s bereavement charity, Grief Encounter, in Children’s Grief Awareness Week (CGAW) with the release of two original films, written and created by bereaved young people on the theme of the week, #saythewords.

Well-known London poet, spoken word artist and mental health advocate Hussain, whose mother died 3 years ago, has co-written ‘I Got Through’, released today, with bereaved young person, Luke Brookner, who has worked with Grief Encounter.
‘Lessons Learned’, which Grief Encounter will release on November 21st via social media, was created in association with world leading vocal communication expert and renowned musician, Reeps One, and was filmed remotely, in lockdown 2.0 with six bereaved children.

The Covid-19 pandemic has left more than 250,000 people estimated to be suffering with grief, without traditional support methods available to them due to lockdown restrictions. Both films are being released during the week to raise awareness of the isolation of bereavement, and the grief isolation brings.

‘I Got Through’s co-creator, Luke, 32, also director of the film, was orphaned before he was 8 years old. Using inspiration from real experiences of bereaved children and young people, including Joe Bellman, 20, who features in the film and experienced the death of his mother only a year ago. The film follows the milestones and moments which cause isolation in grief. Hussain, Luke and Joe hope the film will give voice to moments a young bereaved person finds tough, but often cannot say. The film will launch on Instagram, and be available on YouTube from 19th November.

Luke explains: “I was especially drawn to this project to have an opportunity to show children who have lost parents that they are not alone in their experiences, and drive awareness of some of the experiences they might face.”

In ‘Lessons Learned: Grief Encounter x Reeps One’, he meets six bereaved children to discuss how music and communication has made a difference to their grief journey. The film focusses on how peer support and speaking up can change how isolated a child or young person may feel after the death of someone close.

Myles, 11, who is currently in the Grief Encounter Children’s Choir, comments, “After the death of my dad, I developed a stutter. The Grief Encounter Children’s Choir, the opportunity to express myself through singing, has helped me find my voice again.”
Children’s Grief Awareness Week, now in its sixth year, is an initiative founded by Grief Encounter, in association with the Children’s Bereavement Network, designed to raise awareness of bereaved children and young people in the UK as a vulnerable group in society, and how providing those affected with free, professional support can make the world of difference to their future.
A survey, commissioned to mark the launch of CGAW, in association with the Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN), has found:

  • 77% of parents whose partner has died in the last ten years have found that the pandemic has made it harder to cope with their grief.
  • Three in five (62%) say the pandemic has made it harder to talk to family and friends about their bereavement
  • 77% report more problems with feeling depressed during the pandemic.
  • 80% of widowed parents say their children have struggled more with isolation and loneliness during the pandemic
  • 79% report their children have had more of a problem with worries and anxiety.

Alison Penny, Director of the CBN, said:
“It is clear that isolation and worries have been a major problem for many of those who were already grieving before the pandemic. Added to this are the thousands of children bereaved since March from COVID-19 and other causes, whose grief has been affected by the pandemic. Many have been unable to spend time with or say goodbye to loved ones. Funerals have been so different during this time, and it’s been much harder for families to get together and support one another. Now more than ever it’s important that we help grieving children to #SayTheWords and share how grief has affected them, and for everyone caring for them to #SayTheWords in support.”

In line with the survey findings, and the release of the films, the charity hopes that the campaign, #saythewords, will encourage children and young people to speak up about isolation as a side effect of grief, and the grief of isolation, and seek support from a trusted friend, teacher, parent or professional.


For more information and to request spokesperson comment, please contact our Press Officer:
07944 398 474

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Notes to Editors

Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK will be held from the 19th – 25th November 2020.

Children’s Grief Awareness Day @childgriefday was initiated in the US in 2008 by the Highmark Caring Place and has been taken up by organisations across the US and across the world.

You can also support bereaved children without leaving the comfort of your home, just by texting us at ‘LOSS’ to 70660 to donate £5 to Grief Encounter.

Use our special hashtag #ChildrensGriefAwarenessWeek and #saythewords to talk to us, and to get conversations started on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Feel free to download the CGAW logo  and link to to show your support.

About the data
The Childhood Bereavement Network surveyed 358 parents whose partner had died in the last ten years, before April 2020. The survey ran from 6-15 November 2020.

About the National Children’s Bureau
The National Children’s Bureau is a leading children’s charity working to build a better childhood for every child. We champion children’s right to be safe, secure and supported, by using evidence and our expert knowledge to influence government policy, and help practitioners to do the best job possible, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people.
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