16 Signal Regiment in Stafford are Helping Children With Loss
Updated: Oct 7
Two years ago Warrant Officer UWSNCO WO2 Kerry Hopkinson attended the Helping Children With Loss (HCWL) course. Having completed the course and seen at first hand the impact and benefits it would have for service families, Kerry began to plan how a partnership could support service families and the wider community in Stafford and Staffordshire.
"I believe I have gained a more thorough and in-depth understanding of the grieving process endured by children. I am already applying the principles to my teaching and they have been received positively and constructively. - Su Aldred, Teacher, Bishop Lonsdale Academy
Funding was key as both Kerry and I are incredibly passionate about offering this course free of charge to participants. Kerry explored a number of options and despite receiving knock-backs, she finally got the support and was delighted when the full course costs were offered by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS).
"I feel as I have the correct language to deal with a situation I may encounter instead of sitting there and maybe upsetting the child further because I’m saying the wrong thing." - Andrea Bowyer, Teaching Assistant, Bishop Lonsdale Academy
The first group completed their course in September 2021; a group which included staff from Bishop Lonsdale Academy, a school with experience of service family children.
It is not just service family children who experience loss and change but also those children left behind when service children move on. The HCWL course gives adults the perfect toolkit to support children in their care on a day to day basis.
"I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to undertake the Helping Children with Loss, course. I am now more aware of what loss is and the different ways that loss is experienced. I feel that I am now more attuned to understanding children’s needs and feelings. Since beginning the course I have become more aware of my language and my responses to the children’s questions. I now feel ready to put my training into practise and make a difference in the lives of our children." - Donna Scaife, Teacher, Bishop Lonsdale Academy
Following the success of the first course, the second group, which will be delivered to officers of the 16th Regiment, is taking place in November 2021 with dates for 2022 to be released in the coming months.
"Taking part in this course has opened my eyes, changed my perspective and heightened my understanding about grief and change and the most effective ways to support children with loss." - Liz Bates, Teacher, Bishop Lonsdale Academy
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