Grief Encounter is delighted to announce Vanessa Bauer, star of ITV’s Dancing on Ice, as its newest ambassador. Vanessa, widely known for her accomplishments in figure skating and her time on ITV, brings her passion for helping others and her own personal experiences with grief to Grief Encounter.

In her role as charity ambassador, she will work closely with the charity to raise awareness about the importance of providing specialist support and resources for those navigating the difficult journey of grief. Through various initiatives and campaigns, she will help amplify the charity’s mission to ensure that no child or family feels alone in their grief. Vanessa will also join Grief Encounter’s 20th Anniversary Celebrity Trek to Slovenia in October 2024.

“I am truly honoured to become an ambassador for Grief Encounter. Having experienced he death of my father when I was 25 to cancer, I understand the importance of having support and guidance during such challenging times, especially for children. Now is the perfect time for me to join this amazing charity as an ambassador as I feel ready to talk about my experiences, something I can only do now I’ve sought help; I am committed to using my platform to help raise awareness and provide hope to those who need it most.” Said Vanessa.

CEO of Grief Encounter, Suzy Turner-Jones, welcomes Vanessa as the charity’s newest ambassador, saying, “We are thrilled to have Vanessa join us. Her dedication to helping young people, and her own experience with grief make her a wonderful fit for Grief Encounter. We look forward to working together to make a positive impact on the lives of bereaved children and families.”

Every year, more than 46,000 children experience the death of a parent, sibling, or someone close. Without the right support, at the right time, from the right people, children and young people can go on to experience behavioural, social, and educational issues later in life, often leading to school absences, substance misuse, long term mental health issues and unemployment. In some cases, unsupported grief can lead to a shorter life expectancy. Grief Encounter provides a range of specialist, tailored, bereavement support services, including one-to-one therapy, group support sessions, educational resources, family fun days and residential weekends, all designed to help children and young people navigate their grief. With Bauer’s support, the charity aims to reach even more people in need, and continue in its mission of providing compassionate care and understanding to the most vulnerable communities experiencing grief.